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The Story of the Churches 

The Methodists 


Professor of Historical Theology in Drew Theological 

33-37 Ea st Seventeenth St., Union Sq. North 

Copyright, 1903, 


The Baker & Taylor Co. 

Published, September, /goj 

Publishers' Note 

The aim of this series is to furnish a uniform 
set of church histories, brief but complete, 
and designed to instruct the average church 
member in the origin, development, and his- 
tory of the various denominations. Many 
church histories have been issued for all de- 
nominations, but they have usually been 
volumes of such size as to discourage any 
but students of church history. Each vol- 
ume of this series, all of which will be 
written by leading historians of the various 
denominations, will not only interest the 
members of the denomination about which 
it is written, but will prove interesting to 
members of other denominations as well 
who wish to learn something of their fellow 
workers. The volumes will be bound uni- 
formly, and when the series is complete will 
make a most valuable history of the Chris- 
tian church. 



I. The Kise of Methodism 7 

II. The Meaning of Methodism 22 

III. The Planting in America 37 

IV. The Fiest Confeeences 54 

V. The Oeganization of the Chuech . . 81 

VI. Eighteenth Centuey Heroes .... 104 

VII. Teekitoeial Expansion 141 

VIII. A Mother of Churches 160 

IX. Canada 179 

X. Education 199 

XI. "The World is my Parish" . . . . 224 

Statistics 247 

Literature 250 

Index 259 

The Methodists 



The Methodist movement was the provi- 
dential response to the moral and spiritual 
destitution of England. How far this desti- 
tution extended may be seen by reading 
any reliable history of the times like Lecky's 
" History of England in the Eighteenth Cen- 
tury," or Green's " History of the English 
People." Even an extreme Tory writer like 
Mr. Francis Hitchman, who writes in a 
spirit of violent hostility, has to acknowl- 
edge that when Wesley began his work the 
" Church of England had sunk into a torpor 
from which it -was necessary that it should 
be aroused." Owing to the nature of the 

8 The Methodists 

Church of England as a compromise be- 
tween the Church of Rome and Protestant- 
ism, owing to the convulsions of her his- 
tory — partially reformed by Henry VIII, 
moderately Protestantized by Edward VI, 
Catholicized again by Mary, restored to a 
middle position by Elizabeth, Catholicized 
(this time without being Romanized) by 
Charles I, abolished by the Common- 
wealth, brought back to the Elizabethan 
condition by Charles II, touched up again 
in the Catholic direction by James II and 
Anne amid fierce protests and commotions 
— is it any wonder that when Wesley came 
to the scene enthusiasm in religion was re- 
garded as the deadliest sin, and that when 
John and Charles Wesley and their com- 
panions in Oxford really tried to live 
according to Christ — in Bible study, in holi- 
ness of life, in works of mercy, they were 
looked upon as almost insane and ridiculed 
"Bible Methodists," "The Holy Club," 
"Methodists " ? The clergy were too often 

The Rise of Methodism 9 

either worldly and fox-hunting, or immoral 
and licentious, and sometimes led or incited 
mobs against the preachers and their ad- 
herents. This latter fact is a sufficient 
index of the age. 

Wesley (1703-91) had in his veins the 
best blood of England. Whatever heredity 
could do to make a saint and a religious 
genius, combined with coolness and sanity 
of judgment, that had been done for him. 
On both sides of the house he was de- 
scended from clergymen of remarkable 
piety and independence. His grandfather 
and great-grandfather were Puritan minis- 
ters of university training, and were bitterly 
persecuted by the Church of England and 
Charles II. His father had changed his 
Nonconformist views, suddenly determined 
to go to Oxford, walked thither, entered 
himself as a servitor and poor scholar at 
Exeter College, graduated in 1688, became 
rector at South Ormesby (169 1-6) and at 
Epworth (1696 till his death in 1735), wrote 

lo The Methodists 

numerous books, and lived a laborious, 
conscientious, pious and self-denying life. 
When he heard that his sons were bearing 
the gauntlet of criticism and ridicule for their 
pious labors in Oxford he wrote December 
i, 1730: "1 hear that my son John has the 
honor of being styled the ' father of the 
Holy Club.' If it be so, I must be the 
grandfather of it, and I need not say that I 
had rather any of my sons should be so 
dignified and distinguished than to have the 
title of His Holiness." He married Susanna, 
daughter of the eminent Nonconformist 
Rev. Dr. Samuel Annesley, and one of the 
most remarkable women of modern times, 
deserving to rank with Monica, Anthusa 
and Nonna. She was great as a saint, ad- 
ministrator, and educator, and, to her vision, 
judgment and tact the world owes a vast 
debt. While studying in Oxford (1720-7) 
Wesley became the leader of a band of 
earnest young men who were devoted to 
Bible study, prison visitation and the works 

The Rise of Methodism 1 1 

of charity. He was profoundly impressed 
by reading the "Imitation of Christ" and 
Jeremy Taylor's " Holy Living and Dying," 
and entered upon that life of strenuous 
self-denial and beneficence in obedience to 
a lofty ideal which he led ever after. 

On his voyage to America to be a mis- 
sionary to Oglethorpe's new colony of 
Georgia he fell in with some Moravians 
bent on a similar errand, and the birth of 
Methodism is really due to that voyage. 
In the face of storms threatening to engulf 
their little ship the Moravians were per- 
fectly calm, and their peace of mind, 
Wesley found, came from their simple 
faith in Christ, and their assurance that 
Christ had saved them. Wesley noted this 
but did not act on it himself. When in 
Georgia (1736-8) he tried to govern his life 
and his ministry by High Church prin- 
ciples, he found increasing embarrass- 
ment and failure. This and an unfortunate 
personal controversy led him to abandon 

12 The Methodists 

his field and return to England. He now 
sought the Moravians, and it was in a re- 
ligious society at Aldersgate Street, London, 
May 29, 1738, while hearing Luther's pref- 
ace to the Epistle to the Romans, in which 
the Reformer explained the way of salva- 
tion by faith, that — to use Wesley's oft 
quoted words — "1 felt my heart strangely 
warmed, I felt I did trust in Christ, in 
Christ alone for salvation; and an assur- 
ance was given me that he had taken away 
my sins, even mine, and saved me from 
the law of sin and death." This experi- 
ence made Methodism. 

His brother Charles as well as Whitefield 
had experienced a similar uplift, and were 
proclaiming the way of salvation by faith, 
— Whitefield soon to vast thousands out of 
doors, as the Church of England had closed 
her churches to the zealous preachers. On 
account of some errors, as he considered 
them, Wesley separated from the Moravi- 
ans. He himself describes the origin of the 

The Rise of Methodism 13 

Methodist societies. "In the latter end of 
the year 1739, eight or ten persons came to 
me in London, who appeared to be deeply 
convinced of sin and earnestly groaning for 
redemption. They desired (as did two or 
three more the next day) that I would 
spend some time with them in prayer, and 
advise them how to flee from the wrath to 
come, which they saw continually hanging 
over their heads. That we might have 
more time for this great work 1 appointed 
a day when they might all come together, 
which from thenceforth they did every 
week, namely on Thursday in the evening. 
To these, and as many more as desired to 
join with them (for their number increased 
daily) I gave those advices from time to 
time which I judged most needful for them ; 
and we always concluded our meeting with 
prayer suited to their several necessities. 
This was the rise of the United Society, 
first in London, and then in other places." 
This spontaneity in the rise of the Method- 

14 The Methodists 

ist societies was characteristic of the whole 
movement. There was no, Go to, let us 
form a new Church. In the joy of their 
new found peace and faith Wesley and his 
companions went forth to preach. Their 
message came with power, because it came 
from hearts full of the Holy Spirit and from 
lips that had been touched with a live coal 
from off God's altar. The unwonted free- 
dom and force of the proclamation of a 
full, free, and present salvation through 
faith in Christ soon excluded them from 
the churches. Much blame has been at- 
tached to the Church of England both by 
her own writers and by others for not 
utilizing the zeal of Wesley and Whitefield 
as Rome utilized St. Francis of Assisi, of 
whom one of the most interesting writers 
of this age, Augustus Jessopp, speaks in 
these words: "St. Francis was the John 
Wesley of the thirteenth century whom the 
Church did not cast out." I think there is 
some unfairness in this comparison and 

The Rise of Methodism 1 5 

reflection. Certainly the coarseness and 
calumny of writers like Bishops Warburton 
and Lavington and Smallbroke is inexcusa- 
ble, as well as the active opposition of some 
of the clergy as mob leaders, but it must be 
remembered that Wesley was the most un- 
dutiful son that the Church ever had, both 
in his work and in his teaching. Whereas 
he took a vow at ordination to preach only 
in those parishes where "thou shalt be 
lawfully appointed thereunto," he invaded 
every parish in England and Ireland; and 
although for some of his doctrines it is 
possible to find sanction in Anglican writ- 
ers, it is evident that the whole Church 
system founded on regeneration in baptism 
and grace given in confirmation mediated 
by bishops, was cut up by the roots by the 
Methodist gospel that all men out of Christ 
are lost sinners, that salvation can be had 
instantly by faith, and that it can be infal- 
libly attested in the soul by the witness of 
the Spirit. The Church, the clergy, the 

16 The Methodists 

sacraments and confirmation were logically 
cast aside by the Methodist preachers — in 
the Methodist system they were relatively 
unimportant, in the Catholic system, Roman 
and Anglican, they are all important. For 
these reasons I believe the judgment of 
William Arthur is entirely justified when he 
said that the bishops showed Wesley great 
indulgence or he would have been for- 
bidden in every diocese in the country. 

As Wesley moved from place to place it 
was necessary to leave some one to take 
care of the converts. Thus arose lay 
preaching, which has been the most char- 
acteristic mark of Methodism and in the 
opinion of some her chief glory. Men in 
the zeal of their new life could not help 
testify of the grace of God, and the class 
meeting both tested and trained public 
speakers. The wisest and most competent 
of them would naturally be thrust forward 
for work in the absence of the regular min- 
isters, and Wesley never showed a finer 

The Rise of Methodism 17 

sagacity than in heeding his mother's warn- 
ing not to discourage men of this stamp, 
but rather to utilize them. They were the 
men who husbanded Wesley's societies, 
extended the gospel with tireless zeal all 
over the kingdom, and furnished preachers 
like John Nelson and Thomas Walsh who 
are among the most heroic and saintly 
figures in the history of the Church. It is 
chiefly to the lay preachers that we owe 
the triumphs of the Methodist movement, 
and it was therefore with special fitness 
that the memorial tablet to Wesley in City 
Road chapel, London, should bear the 
inscription: "He was the patron and 
friend of the lay preachers by whose aid he 
extended the plan of itinerate preaching," 
— an inscription that was changed in the 
heyday of Bunting's rule by some meddlers 
into: "He was the chief promoter and 
patron of the plan of itinerant preaching." 

Events now moved with rapidity, and 
nearly all of them were the earnest of a 

18 The Methodists 

new Church or denomination. Take this 
portentous list: In 1740 Wesley takes a 
position against unconditional election and 
so allies his movement with Arminianism; 
in the same year he separates from the 
Moravians; in 1742 a financial system was 
adopted for the payment of debts on 
church buildings and for other expenses, 
and tickets for membership were first given 
out; in 1743 the rules for the United So- 
cieties were published, and visitors were 
appointed for the sick and poor; in 1744 
the first Conference for preachers was held, 
in which both the doctrines and discipline 
of the Methodists were outlined in sub- 
stantially the same form as they are re- 
ceived to-day; in 1745 at the second Con- 
ference Wesley cut himself off from obedi- 
ence to the Church of England, except to 
the rubrics in the Prayer-book, and outlined 
a kind of episcopal Congregationalism as 
the natural evolution of church polity; in 
1746 the first rules for the reception of 

The Rise of Methodism 19 

preachers — still in force — are laid down, 
and the kingdom is divided into circuits by 
name; at the Conference of 1747 Wesley 
discusses Church polity again and con- 
cludes that a New Testament Church means 
a single congregation, that the three orders 
of bishops, priests and deacons are apos- 
tolic but not laid down as obligatory in 
Scripture, that in fact no plan of Church 
government is thus laid down, and finally 
that the divine right of episcopacy was 
never heard of in England till the middle of 
the reign of Elizabeth, until which time 
" all bishops, and clergy continually al- 
lowed and joined in the ministrations of 
those who were not episcopally ordained; " 
in 1747 he begins a Tract Society; in 1748 a 
school; in 1752 the preachers receive a 
salary; in 1756 the first general collection 
for a specific purpose is taken in all the so- 
cieties; in 1763 a fund for worn out 
preachers is inaugurated, and in 1765 a 
uniform ticket of membership issued to all 

20 The Methodists 

members who are henceforth, it is recom- 
mended, to be called — after the fashion of 
the primitive church — brothers and sisters. 

Certainly by this time, the Methodists 
might be looked upon as forming a distinct 
denomination. Later steps confirm what 
had already been done. Ministers were 
sent to America in 1769, the Arminian 
Magazine was started in 1778 (issued each 
month from that day to this, though with 
change of name to Methodist Magazine in 
1798 and to Wesley an Methodist Magazine 
in 1822), and in 1784 — an epochal year — 
Wesley formally made provision for the 
perpetuation of Methodism as a distinct 
movement by enrolling in the Court of 
Chancery a Deed of Declaration constituting 
the Methodist Conference, with rules and 
regulations, as his successor. The same 
year saw him ordain Coke as Superintend- 
ent and Whatcoat and Vasey elders for 
the American Methodists, with instructions 
to organize a Church. These ordinations 

The Rise of Methodism 21 

were not confined to America, for in the 
next five years he repeatedly ordained men 
as elders to act in Scotland, England and in 
mission stations, — even went so far as to 
ordain Mather to act as superintendent 
in England, and in 1789 ordained Moore 
and Rankin to have special charge of the 
societies in London, Bath, and Bristol, and 
to administer the sacraments. These acts 
may be taken as completing the breach 
with the Church of England, which Wesley 
began in 1739. When he died in 1791 
there were in Great Britain and Ireland 300 
preachers in regular charge, 1,000 local 
preachers, and 80,000 members. 



Methodism began in the religious experi- 
ence of Wesley at Aldersgate Street, when 
a Moravian by a writing of Luther showed 
him the simple way of salvation by faith. 
Wesley always emphasized the experi- 
mental, therefore, rather than the dogmatic. 
It began not as a proclamation of doctrine, 
old or new," but as the proclamation of a 
new life. :, It was a revival of religion, not a 
system of theology. It was the old mes- 
sage that broke the silence of the Jordan 
valley: "Behold the Lamb of God that 
taketh away the sins of the world." 
Wesley loved to emphasize the practical 
side of Methodism, and he announced as 
its mission not the promulgation of new 
theories of polity or theology, but the 


The Meaning of Methodism 23 

" spreading of scriptural holiness over these 
lands," and by these lands he really meant 
all lands, for with daring vision and faith at 
the beginnin? he said in answer to some 
who complained of his irregular move- 
ments, "The world is my parish." In 
his famous definition of a Methodist he 
deliberately omits all doctrinal elements 
except belief in the Trinity. 

"A Methodist is one that has the love of 
God shed abroad in his heart by the Holy 
Ghost given unto him; one who loves the 
Lord his God with all his heart, and soul, 
and mind, and strength. He rejoices ever- 
more, prays without ceasing, and in every- 
thing gives thanks. His heart is full of 
love to all mankind, and is purified from 
envy, malice, wrath, and every unkind 
affection. His one desire, and the one de- 
sign of his life, is not to do his own will, 
but the will of him that sent him. He 
keeps all God's commandments, from the 
least to the greatest. He follows not the 

24 The Methodists 

customs of the world; for vice does not 
lose its nature through its becoming fash- 
ionable. He fares not sumptuously every 
day. He cannot lay up treasures upon the 
earth ; nor can he adorn himself with gold 
or costly apparel. He cannot join in any 
diversion that has the least tendency to 
vice. He cannot speak evil of his neighbor 
any more than he can lie. He cannot utter 
unkind or evil words. No corrupt com- 
munication ever comes out of his mouth. 
He does good unto all men; unto neigh- 
bors, strangers, friends, and enemies. 
These are the principles and practices of 
our sect. These are the marks of a true 
Methodist. By these alone do Methodists 
desire to be distinguished from other men." 

Hence Wesley took special pride in the 
fact that no doctrinal tests were laid down 
for membership in his society. He calls 
attention to this repeatedly. 

"One circumstance more," he says, "is 
quite peculiar to the people called Method- 

The Meaning of Methodism 25 

ists, — that is, the terms upon which any 
person may be admitted into their society. 
They do not impose, in order to their ad- 
mission, any opinions whatever. Let them 
hold particular or general redemption, abso- 
lute or conditional decrees; let them be 
Churchmen or Dissenters, Presbyterians or 
Independents — it is no obstacle. Let them 
choose one mode of baptism or another — it 
is no bar to their admission. The Presby- 
terian may be a Presbyterian still; the Inde- 
pendent or Anabaptist may use his own 
mode of worship; so may the Quaker, and 
none will contend with him about it. They 
think, and let think. One condition, and 
one only, is required — a real desire to save 
the soul. Where this is, it is enough; they 
desire no more; they lay stress upon noth- 
ing else; they ask only, ' Is thy heart herein 
as my heart? If it be give me thy hand.' 
Is there any other society in Great Britain 
or Ireland that is so remote from bigotry ? 
that is so truly of a catholic spirit ? so ready 

26 The Methodists 

to admit all serious persons without dis- 
tinction ? Where, then, is there such an- 
other society in Europe? in the habitable 
world ? I know none. Let any man show 
it me that can." 

At a later date as if for fear that some 
would bring in dogmatic tests Wesley ex- 
claims: "O that we may never make any- 
thing more or less the term of union with 
us, but having the mind that was in Christ, 
and the walking as he walked." 

It is fair to say, however, that this noble 
ideal was not observed in the actual evolu- 
tion of Methodism. And for this Wesley 
himself was responsible. He early sepa- 
rated himself from the Moravians, and as 
early (1740) precipitated a conflict with the 
Calvinists by his unfortunate sermon on 
Predestination, a conflict that deepened into 
furious opposition by his Minute on Justi- 
fication, in 1770. This declaration led many 
of the most pious and active leaders in the 
movement to conclude that Wesley by a 

The Meaning of Methodism 27 

reaction towards his early High Church 
ideas had repudiated justification by faith 
alone. This interpretation was not an un- 
natural one, and the Minute left an irre- 
trievable cleavage among Methodists. 

No great reformation like the Methodist, 
however, can proceed without a firm sub- 
stratum of truth, and though Wesley was 
sincere in calling all who desired salvation 
into his societies irrespective of creed, he 
did not hesitate to proclaim far and wide 
the doctrines which he held. He was the 
great doctrinal preacher of the eighteenth 
century. At his very first conference he de- 
bated theological topics with his preachers, 
and year by year he renewed the discus- 
sions with the distinct understanding that 
every man must be perfectly free to speak 
his mind and is bound by the decision of 
the Conference (which meant Wesley) no 
farther than his conscience dictates. Nor 
does it appear that Wesley insisted upon 
his helpers sharing his views, if they 

28 The Methodists 

were peaceable men and held to the main 
things. But the doctrines that were the 
spring of the revival soon came into relief. 
After Wesley's death the Conference form- 
ally adopted the first fifty-two sermons in 
Wesley's published volumes and his " Notes 
on the New Testament " as their standard 
of orthodoxy, though when he sent over 
his service for the new American Church 
Wesley said nothing of any writings of his 
own, but pared down the thirty-nine articles 
of his mother Church into twenty-four as a 
sufficient doctrinal basis. 

What then are the things most surely be- 
lieved among the Methodists ? 1 think no 
one has expressed more admirably these 
common beliefs than Bishop John H. Vin- 
cent. His brief series of ten propositions is 
not known as widely outside — or even in- 
side — of Methodist circles as it ought to be. 

I. 1 believe that all men are sinners. 

II. I believe that God the Father loves aU 
men and hates all sin. 

The Meaning of Methodism 29 

III. I believe that Jesus Christ died for 
all men to make possible their salvation 
from sin, and to make sure the salvation of 
all who believe in him. 

IV I believe that the Holy Spirit is given 
to all men to enlighten and to incline them 
to repent of their sins and to believe in the 
Lord Jesus Christ. 

V I believe that all who repent of their 
sins and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ re- 
ceive the forgiveness of sins. This is justi- 

VI. I believe that all who receive the for- 
giveness of sins are at the same time made 
new creatures in Christ Jesus. This is re- 

VII. I believe that all who are made new 
creatures in Christ Jesus are accepted as 
children of God. This is adoption. 

VIII. I believe that all who are accepted 
as the children of God may receive the in- 
ward assurance of the Holy Spirit to that 
fact. This is the witness of the Spirit. 

3<d The Methodists 

IX. I believe that all who truly desire and 
seek it may love God with all the heart, 
soul, mind and strength, and their neigh- 
bors as themselves. This is entire sanctifi- 

X. I believe that all who persevere to 
the end and only these shall be saved in 
heaven forever. 

Equally fundamental are such doctrines 
as the Divinity of Christ, the inspiration of 
Scripture and its sole authority as a rule of 
faith and practice, the obligation of the two 
sacraments, the second coming of Christ, 
and eternal punishment of unrepented sin. 
It will be seen, therefore, that Methodism 
has quite as definite a creed as other Churches 
which confess their faith in formal symbols. 
To that faith she has clung with tenacity 
and with an undeviating fidelity not 
paralleled in church history. Though nu- 
merous offshoots have gone from the parent 
stock, in no case has a division arisen on 
account of a change in doctrine. 

The Meaning of Methodism 31 

It is the opinion of all Methodists that the 
marvellous growth of the movement has 
been due in large measure to the clearness 
and earnestness with which preachers have 
proclaimed the universal peril of sinners, 
and the free, present and full salvation pro- 
vided in Jesus Christ, together with the joy, 
buoyancy and triumph the experience of 
that salvation has given to both preachers 
and members. On non-essential matters 
Methodists allow large latitude as, e. g., the 
mode of baptism, the mode of administer- 
ing the Lord's Supper, theories of inspira- 
tion so long as the unique fact is maintained, 
the date of the Old Testament books and 
other matters of Biblical investigation so 
long as the actual objective revelation of 
God is insisted upon. But it is evident as 
soon as the doctrines which have given 
Methodism her reason for being such as 
those mentioned above are shelved, her 
triumphs are at an end. The historic note 
of Methodist preaching is its precision and 

32 The Methodists 

positiveness, the tremendous force with 
which it assails the conscience of men by 
the weapons of the Word. 

As to its moral testimony it will be seen 
by the above definition of a Methodist that 
the ethical standards of the movement were 
high. It took at its full value Paul's great 
challenge to the Christians in Corinth: 
" We are a temple of the living God: even 
as God said, I will dwell in them, and walk 
in them ; and I will be their God. and they 
shall be my people. Wherefore 

"Come ye out from among them, and 
be ye separate, saith the Lord, 
" And touch no unclean thing; 
" And 1 will receive you, 
" And I will be to you a Father, 
" And ye shall be my sons and daughters, 
saith the Lord almighty. Having therefore 
these promises, beloved, let us cleanse our- 
selves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, 
perfecting holiness in the fear of God " 
(2 Cor. 6: 16; 7:1). 

The Meaning of Methodism 33 

The Rules of the United Societies were 
the loftiest ethical standard ever laid down 
by uninspired man as the regulation of a 
Christian's workaday life, not as an ideal 
or exhortation, but as actually to be lived 
out by every individual. They were after 
St. Francis's own heart. Wesley combined 
the ascetic religiousness of the mediaeval 
saint with the cool judgment of a man of 
the world and the large sympathies of a 
man of letters. But never before except in 
apostolic times was it seen that all who 
professed the name of Christ were to live 
after a rule so stern, so strict, so uncompro- 
mising, though the Anabaptists of the 
Reformation times and the Quakers of the 
seventeenth century were in this respect the 
forerunners of the Methodists, to whom, 
however, Wesley owed nothing. The 
General Rules forbade not only the ordi- 
nary vices of Sabbath-breaking, drinking, 
etc., but also brother going to law with a 
brother Christian, usury, the using many 

34 The Methodists 

words in buying and selling, speaking evil 
of magistrates or ministers, the putting on 
of gold and costly apparel, or reading books 
or using diversions which tend not to the 
knowledge and love of God. But Wesley 
was not content with a general moral strict- 
ness. On specific evils he warned both 
people and preachers. His voice rang out: 
"Let no preacher touch snuff on any ac- 
count but show the societies the evil of it." 
"Let no preacher drink any drams on any 
account, but strongly dissuade our people 
from it, and answer their pretenses." "En- 
force the rules relating to ruffles, lace, snuff 
and tobacco rigorously, though calmly." 
"Warn them against little oaths, 'as upon 
my life,' 'my faith,' and against compli- 
ments, let them use no unmeaning words." 
The monastic strictness of the great dis- 
ciplinarian impressed itself upon his follow- 
ers of all classes and grades of society only 
because they had themselves been renewed 
in heart and life, and could joyfully take of 

The Meaning of Methodism 35 

the spoiling of their pleasures for Christ's 
sake. Besides the times were evil, and 
severe remedies, Wesley thought, were 
called for. 

It remains to speak of two other char- 
acteristics of Methodism, — singing and tes- 
timony. The early Methodists were a 
happy folk, and Charles Wesley, the poet 
hymnist of the centuries, was raised up to 
voice their joys, their longings, their faith 
and their love. Then Wesley unloosed the 
tongues of the dumb, — "how can we help 
but speak of the things which we have 
seen and heard." The class-meeting, where 
Christians speak to each other of the things 
of God, trained multitudes for effective 
service, — even women not a few became 
known for their rich experience, lofty faith 
and appropriate public utterance. The 
portrait of Dinah Morris in "Adam Bede" 
is typical of many. As the mediaeval abbots 
utilized laymen for large service so Wesley 
restored the private Christian to the place 

36 The Methodists 

he had in the first age of the church, when 
the believers went everywhere preaching 
the Gospel (Acts 8:4). After Wesley, lay- 
men were the founders of Methodism. It 
was their preaching, their sufferings, their 
heroism, which turned the tide of immo- 
rality and irreligion, and, as Lecky well says, 
saved England from a French Revolution. 



"Thus the whirligig of time brings on 
his revenges," says the clown in "Twelfth 
Night." When that most Catholic King 
Louis XIV overrun the province of the 
Palatinate on the Rhine and scattered the 
inhabitants, he little thought that those 
weak and despised Protestants, who with 
heavy hearts left their smoking homes for 
the north, would be the instruments of 
starting a movement that would checkmate 
his own church over vast spaces of the 
world, build church and college over against 
hers, and bring thousands of his co-re- 
ligionists by the mere attractiveness of a 
happy religious experience into the purity 
and power of a Gospel of which he neither 

38 The Methodists 

knew nor cared nor could imagine. The 
Palatines found their way to England 1690- 
1705, and from England many of them 
went to Ireland, where they were given 
land in County Limerick. Without pastors 
who could speak their language, they 
neglected religion and became addicted to 
the ordinary vices of the time. Still they 
never lost their German virtues of frugality 
and diligence, readily received the Method- 
ist itinerant, and when Wesley first visited 
them in 1756, he found, he says, "much 
life among this plain, artless, serious 
people," and greatly enjoyed preaching to 
them. Wesley's keen eye noted a contrast 
— "they have quite a different look from 
the natives of the country, as well as a 
different temper. They are a serious, 
thinking people. And their diligence turns 
all their land into a garden." In spite of all 
their diligence some of them could not 
make a living, so that on June 14, 1765, 
Wesley records their departure for different 

The Planting in America 39 

parts of the kingdom, and to America, and 
exclaims, " Have landlords no common 
sense (whether they have common hu- 
manity or no), that they will suffer such 
tenants as these to be starved away from 

In 1760 a part of the Palatine Irish left the 
village of Balligarane for America, arriving 
in New York August 10, 1760. Among 
them were Barbara Heck, the mother of 
Methodism in the United States and Canada, 
and Philip Embury, the first class-leader 
and preacher in the new world. Not all 
were Methodists, and those that were — ex- 
cept Barbara and Embury — lost their zeal. 
The oft-repeated story how Barbara started 
the first Methodist preaching is too good 
not to be told again. The patient and in- 
valuable researches of the late John Atkin- 
son corroborate it in every particular. It 
appears that a company of people had met 
in the evening to play cards, probably in 
Barbara Hecks own kitchen. Coming 

4-0 The Methodists 

upon them suddenly, Barbara, in her in- 
dignation, swept the cards into her apron, 
threw them into the fire and rebuked the 
players, then put on her bonnet, went im- 
mediately to the house of Embury, and ex- 
claimed: "Philip, you must preach to us, 
or we shall all go to hell together, and God 
will require our blood at your hands ! " 
"Where shall I preach?" said Philip. 
" Preach in your own house." " Who will 
come to hear me ? " " I will come and hear 
you," urged the enthusiastic matron. She 
went and gathered three or four people and 
Embury preached to them, and thus began 
the Methodist movement in America. This 
was in 1766. In 1770 the foundress and 
her family, with others, moved to Camden 
(Ashgrove), near Lake Champlain, N. Y., 
where they founded a society, in 1774 to 
Montreal, and in 1785 to Augusta, Ontario, 
where they also established a Methodist 
class, where they greeted the first itinerants 
in Canada with an already established cause, 

The Planting in America 41 

and where their descendants are living to 
this day. 

It is worth recording that the first regular 
preaching place in America was a hired 
room near the barracks (later Augustus 
Street), with the customary drinking-shops 
and other vile resorts. "Few thought it 
worth while to assemble with them in so 
contemptible a place " is the sad remark of 
our first historian, Jesse Lee. But in that 
room the Gospel won its trophies, and 
many, both civilians and soldiers, were 
added to the Lord. This was especially 
true after Captain Webb, the stirring soldier- 
preacher, arrived among them in 1766 or 
1767. Their quarters became too small so 
that they soon (probably early in 1767) 
hired a sail-loft on William Street. But 
this too became too strait for them, so that 
it was necessary to build a church. A fine 
site was offered on what is now John Street, 
where the present church stands, for ^600, 
apparently an exorbitant price for that time. 

42 The Methodists 

Influential and wealthy friends were raised 
up, a subscription paper was started, Wil- 
liam Lupton a public-spirited merchant, 
gave £}o and borrowed more on his own 
security, besides himself lending ^190. 
Captain Webb headed the list with £30, 
and many of the citizens of New York, in- 
cluding clergymen of the Church of Eng- 
land, doctors, lawyers, and other prominent 
people, gave heartily to the new house, and 
their names can be read to-day in the sub- 
scription paper which is preserved in the 
archives of the New York Methodist Histor- 
ical Society. Opposition was not lacking, 
however, as an old account says: "The 
fire of opposition raged tremendously against 
the rising edifice. Its enemies loudly pre- 
dicted its downfall. Pamphlets were pub- 
lished and discourses delivered in order to 
frustrate its completion." 

The Church of England was established 
by law in New York, though dissenters were 
allowed to worship in a building that was 

The Planting in America 43 

not a church. The Methodists therefore 
built a fireplace in their chapel, which 
classed it as a dwelling. It had a gallery, 
but no breastwork and no stairs; boys 
would mount by a ladder and sit on the ex- 
posed platform. Benches without backs 
were the pews. The pulpit was made by 
Embury himself, who followed the trade of 
Jesus. The church was opened by Em- 
bury, October 30, 1768. In size it was 

Webb founded Methodism in Philadel- 
phia in 1767 or 1768. One of the interest- 
ing facts of Church History is the intercourse 
of Wesley with Dr. Wrangel a Swedish 
minister from Philadelphia, whom he met 
in Bristol on his way home. Under date of 
October 14, 1768, Wesley says in his jour- 
nal : "I dined with Dr. Wrangel, one of 
the kings of Sweden's chaplains, who has 
spent some time in .Philadelphia. His heart 
seems to be greatly united to the American 
Christians; he strongly pleaded for our 

44 The Methodists 

sending some of our preachers to help 
them, multitudes of whom are as sheep 
without a shepherd. Tuesday, 18. He 
preached in the new room to a crowded 
audience, and gave general satisfaction by 
the simplicity and life which accompanied 
his sound doctrine." Wrangel wrote to 
some friends in Philadelphia commending 
Wesley and his cause, and urging them to 
unite with the Methodists. Two of the 
friends — Hood and Wilmer — were the first 
Methodists in Philadelphia. Hood became 
a local preacher and founded many societies 
in and around Philadelphia. The first 
church in that city was bought in 1769 for 
^650 from the German Reformed, who 
had begun to build but were not able to 
finish and therefore, according to the tender 
laws of that day, found themselves in jail. 
Their acquaintance, says an old chronicler, 
inquired of them as they looked through 
the windows, For what were you put in 
jail? They answered, For building a 

The Planting in America 45 

church. To go to jail for the pious deed 
of building a church became a proverb in 
the city of Brotherly Love. This is St. 
George's Church, Fourth Street, the oldest 
Methodist church now standing and used 
for worship in the world. It was opened 
Friday, November 24, 1769, all days being 
lucky to the early Methodists, who, accord- 
ing to Wesley, were as free from supersti- 
tion as from heresy. 

There has been a dispute as to who first 
established Methodism in America, Embury 
in New York, or Strawbridge in Maryland, 
some historians like Lednum, Hamilton, 
and McTyeire, stating definitely that Straw- 
bridge has the precedence. This question 
has been set at rest by the invaluable re- 
searches of Atkinson, whose conclusion is 
endorsed by Buckley. Like Embury, 
Strawbridge was an Irishman, a local 
preacher in his native isle, who came over 
in 1765, or according to Crook, who made 
a careful study of all the Irish line of evi- 

46 The Methodists 

dence, in 1766, began preaching in Balti- 
more County and surrounding country in 
1767, raised societies, converted Richard 
Owen, the first native preacher in Mary- 
land, as well as the parents of that ecclesi- 
astical Nestor, Thomas E. Bond, M. D., and 
built perhaps the second Methodist church 
on the continent — the celebrated log church 
at Sam's Creek, Carroll County, Maryland. 
This church was twenty feet square and 
built of hewn logs, with sleepers for seats, 
was without windows or doors (except 
openings in the wall), but witnessed many 
triumphs of the Gospel by that brave and 
consecrated Irishman, the apostle of Mary- 
land, who would not bend his neck to As- 
bury's yoke. 

Another Irish pioneer deserves mention — 
Robert Williams. He had been a member 
of the Irish Conference and was the first 
who came over to assist the American 
Methodists, though without appointment 
by Wesley. He landed in Norfolk, Va., 

The Planting in America 47 

probably in the summer of 1769. With his 
Bible and hymn-book in his hand he left 
the vessel and walked up the main street. 
It was evening. Seeing a house marked, 
"To let," he ascended its steps, took his 
hymn-book and began to sing. The peo- 
ple gathered around. After singing he 
offered a fervent prayer for the town. On 
rising from his knees he told the people 
who he was, the object of his mission, etc., 
and asked if any one would be kind enough 
to give him a night's lodging. A lady came 
forward and offered to take him home in 
her carriage. She was the wife of a sea- 
captain who was absent on a voyage. Be- 
fore retiring he asked permission to pray. 
During that prayer his entertainer found the 
peace of Christ, but the singular fact is that 
that same prayer in which the husband was 
earnestly remembered brought about his 
conversion on that very night. The cap- 
tain could not sleep. He arose alarmed, 
only to lie down to seek rest in vain. 

48 The Methodists 

Again he arose. Finally he fell on his knees 
and began to pray. God converted his soul. 
He noted this in his log-book, and found it 
was the same night that Williams was pray- 
ing for him. Williams was a zealous 
worker, planting the Gospel in Virginia, and 
going wherever he was sent with cheerful 
faith. In the library of Drew Theological 
Seminary there is preserved the earliest 
membership ticket extant. 

Psalms 147: 11. October 1, 1769. 

"The Lord taketh pleasure in them that 
fear him; in those that hope in his mercy." 

Hannah Dean. 
Robt. Williams, N. York. 75. 

It is supposed that seventy-five represents 
the number of members then in the society. 

Hitherto there had been no formal appoint- 
ment by Wesley of preachers to America. 
Webb had importuned him to send over 
helpers, and Thomas Taylor from New York 
in his notable appeal, dated April 11, 1768, 
seconded the entreaty, "I must importune 

The Planting in America 49 

for assistance not alone in my behalf, but 
also in the name of the whole society. We 
want an able and experienced preacher ; one 
who has both gifts and grace necessary for 
the work. God has not indeed despised the 
day of small things. There is a real work 
of grace begun in many hearts by the preach- 
ing of Mr. Webb and Mr. Embury. But 
although they are both useful and their 
hearts are in the work, they want many 
qualifications for such an undertaking, and 
the progress of the Gospel here depends 
much upon the qualifications of the preach- 
ers. If possible we must have a man of 
wisdom, of sound faith, and a good disci- 
plinarian — one whose heart and soul are in 
the work; and I doubt not by the goodness 
of God such a flame could be kindled as 
would never stop until it reached the great 
South Sea. Dear sir, I entreat you, for the 
good of thousands, to use your utmost en- 
deavors to send one over. With respect to 
money for payment of the preacher's pas- 

So The Methodists 

sage, if they could not procure it we would 
sell our coats and shirts to procure it for 
them. I most earnestly beg an interest in 
your prayers, and trust you and many of 
your brethren will not forget the Church in 
this wilderness." 

This appeal was laid before the Confer- 
ence in 1768, but laid over for full consider- 
ation until the next year. At Leeds in 1769 
Wesley asked who was ready to volunteer 
for America, and Joseph Pilmoor and Rich- 
ard Boardman — experienced and able men, 
— both of whom had been considering the 
Appeal of 1768, volunteered for the new 
mission field in the West, while the father 
of foreign missions, William Carey, was but 
a boy of eight. The Minutes of 1769 con- 
tain this characteristic entry : 

Question 1 3. We ha ve a pressing call from 
our brethren at New York — (who have built 
a preaching-house) to come over and help 
them. Who is willing to go? Answer: 
Richard Boardman and Joseph Pilmoor. 

The Planting in America 51 

Question 14. What can we do further in 
token of our brotherly love ? Answer: Let 
us now make a collection among ourselves. 
This was immediately done and £50 were 
allotted towards the payment of debt, and 
about £20 given to our brethren for their 

Certainly this spectacle of a handful of 
poor preachers — there were now about a 
hundred men on the roll, not all of whom 
were at the Conference — with their paltry 
income giving .£70 or even half of it to the 
American mission is one of the most pa- 
thetic in history. 

The missionaries landed on October 20, 
1769, and immediately began their work. 
"When I came to Philadelphia," writes 
Boardman to Wesley, November^ 1769, "I 
found a little society and preached to a great 
number. I left Brother Pilmoor there and 
set out for New York. Coming to a large 
town on my way, and seeing a barrack I 
asked a soldier if there were any Methodists 

52 The Methodists 

belonging to it. 'O yes,' said he, 'we 
are all Methodists, that is, we should all be 
glad to hear a Methodist preach.' ' Well,' 
said I, ' tell them in the barrack that a Method- 
ist preacher, just come from England, in- 
tends to preach here to-night.' He did so 
and the inn was soon surrounded with sol- 
diers. 1 asked, ' where do you think I can 
get a place to preach in ? ' (It then being 
dark). One of them said, ' I will go and see 
if I can get the Presbyterian meeting-house.' 
He did so and soon returned and told me 
that he had prevailed, and that the bell was 
just going to ring to let all the town know. 
A great company soon got together and 
seemed much affected. The next day I came 
to New York." This readiness to enter 
every open door, and to try to open one if it 
were shut, was characteristic of early Meth- 
odist preachers, and was one cause of their 

An agreement was immediately drawn up 
that there should be preaching Sunday morn- 

The Planting in America 53 

ings and evenings, also on Tuesday and 
Thursday evenings, that the preacher should 
meet the society every Wednesday evening, 
and that each preacher having labored three 
months should receive three guineas for 
clothes. Such were the modest beginnings 
of the concerted effort of the British Method- 
ists to extend the cause in America. 



After 1769 other preachers were sent 
over by Wesley ; of the lives of these and 
others I shall have something to say in 
a subsequent chapter. Under their labors 
the work rapidly spread and consolidated. 
But to coordinate it with Wesley and his 
system, the great disciplinarians Asbury 
and Rankin believed it was necessary to 
bring the preachers together for common 
action. They met therefore for their first 
Conference in Philadelphia on July 14-16, 
1773, viz., Rankin, Boardman, Pilmoor, 
Asbury, Wright, Shadford, Webb, King, 
Whit worth and Yearby, — all travelling 
preachers, but all unordained. The reports 
of membership were as follows: New 
York 180, Philadelphia 180, New Jersey 200, 

The First Conferences 55 

Maryland 500, and Virginia 500. The pro- 
ceedings are summed up in the following 
questions : 

"1. Ought not the authority of Mr. 
Wesley and that Conference to extend to 
the preachers and people in America as 
well as in Great Britain and Ireland ? Yes. 

"2. Ought not the doctrine and dis- 
cipline of the Methodists, as contained in 
the Minutes, to be the sole rule of our con- 
duct, who labor in the connection with Mr. 
Wesley in America ? Yes. 

"3. If so, does it not follow that if any 
preachers deviate from the Minutes we can 
have no fellowship with them till they 
change their conduct ? Yes. 

"The following rules were agreed to by 
all the preachers present: " 

"1. Every preacher who acts in con- 
nection with Mr. Wesley and the brethren 
who labor in America is strictly to avoid 
administering the ordinances of baptism 
and the Lord's Supper. 

56 The Methodists 

"2. All the people among whom we 
labor to be earnestly exhorted to attend the 
church and to receive the ordinances there; 
but in a particular manner to press the peo- 
ple in Maryland and Virginia to the observ- 
ance of this Minute. 

"3. No person to be admitted in our 
love-feasts oftener than twice or thrice 
unless they become members; and none to 
be admitted to the Society meeting more 
than thrice. 

"4. None of the preachers in America 
to reprint any of Mr. Wesley's books with- 
out his authority (when it can be gotten) 
and the consent of their brethren. 

"5. Robert Williams to sell the books 
he has already printed, but to print no more 
unless under the above restrictions. 

"6. Every preacher who acts as an 
assistant, to send an account of the work 
once in six months to the general as- 

The above rules meant (1) the separate 

The First Conferences 57 

ecclesiastical organization of Methodism in 
America, under the authority of Wesley 
and his representative, the general assistant 
— at this time Rankin, but with a strong 
moral influence of the American Confer- 
ence; (2) the effort to subordinate the 
movement to the Church of England estab- 
lished by law in the southern colonies ; and 
(3) the restriction of personal liberty by 
a censorship of books. As to the first 
point, the historical evolution more and 
more confirmed the sagacity of the preach- 
ers in their belief that some kind of con- 
nectional bond was necessary for the largest 
effectiveness. As to the second point the 
historical evolution rebuked the preachers 
for their deference to Anglicanism, the new 
wine proving itself too strong for the old 
bottles. In some of the colonies the Church 
of England had no existence or a very 
feeble one, and in others many of its minis- 
ters were noted for their racing, drinking 
and other practices which made it impos- 

58 The Methodists 

sible for them to attract the serious; and 
even in Virginia and Maryland where that 
Church was established by law, and where 
the godlessness of the clergy gave a special 
fruitful field for Methodism, in that very 
territory the demand for the ordinances 
from the hands of their own preachers was 
the loudest; and there their administration 
by Strawbridge, the apostle of Maryland, 
who insisted on his native rights as pastor, 
was winked at even by Asbury. As to the 
third point — publication of books only by 
Conference action — though it was a re- 
striction of liberty, is inconsistent with 
Protestantism, and has long since lapsed in 
all branches of Methodism, it was the 
beginning of a great and beneficent institu- 
tion — the Methodist Book Concern, which 
does the publishing for the Church and 
gives the Church the profits. Lee inter- 
prets the action of the Conference as mean- 
ing that all the preachers were to be 
" united in the same course of printing and 

The First Conferences 59 

selling our books, so that the profits arising 
therefrom might be divided among them or 
applied to some charitable purpose." Will- 
iams, with a sagacity and breadth of view 
worthy of a son of Wesley, had appealed 
to the printing-press, and had scattered 
Wesley's sermons in pamphlet form far and 
wide. This had stopped the mouths of 
opponents by showing the real nature of 
Methodism, had brought many to a clear 
understanding of the plan of salvation, and 
had opened up various new places for invi- 
tation to the itinerant. 

The second Conference met in Philadel- 
phia May 25-27, 1774. It showed ten cir- 
cuits, seventeen preachers and 2,073 mem- 
bers. It provided that every itinerant in full 
relation with the Conference should own the 
horse provided for him by his circuit, that 
each preacher should be allowed six pounds 
(Pennsylvania currency) a quarter (having 
previously labored without salary), that 
Rankin as general assistant — that is, super- 

60 The Methodists 

intendent or Wesley's representative — 
should be supported by the circuits where 
he might spend his time, that a collection 
should be made at Easter to relieve the 
chapel debts and itinerants in want, and 
that all the preachers should exchange at 
the end of every six months. This last 
brings up one of the peculiar institutions of 
Methodism, the source of both its strength 
and weakness, its attraction and repulsion, 
but which was undeniably one of the chief 
means of its marvellous growth in its first 
half century. Wesley changed his preach- 
ers as often as he thought best — that is, all 
except the men ordained in the Church of 
England, once in six months, later once a 
year. Later still two years was the limit, 
and in his great Deed of Declaration of 1784 
he made three years the limit of appoint- 
ment to one place. This limit still holds in 
the Methodist Church of Great Britain and 
Australia, while in Canada it is since 1902 
four years. In America some of the preach- 

The First Conferences 61 

ers in the cities agreed to change every 
four months. The first rule of six months 
was made in 1774, which was lengthened 
to a year in 1779, to two years in 1804, to 
three in 1864, to five in 1888, and in 1900 
the limit was removed entirely, the itinerant 
system of annual appointments, however, 
remaining intact. This applies to the 
Methodist Episcopal Church: the practice 
in the other Churches will be mentioned 
when they come up in the history. 

The third Conference was held also in 
Philadelphia, May 17-21, 1775, in the midst 
of revolutionary excitement. Unlike their 
descendants the first Methodists took no 
action that could be construed political. 
All they wanted was peace and the oppor- 
tunity to preach the Gospel. Considering 
the inflammable material that was all about 
them, the intense excitement of the country, 
the fact that nearly all the preachers were 
Englishmen recently come over, and the fur- 
ther fact that Wesley himself indorsed 

62 The Methodists 

Samuel Johnson's opposition to the colonies 
and published his views with his character- 
istic frankness, it is a tribute to their won- 
derful prudence and their single-minded 
devotion that so few of them were mo- 
lested, that the work went on as uninter- 
ruptedly and prosperously as it did. Some 
of the preachers returned to England, others 
were imprisoned or persecuted, even As- 
bury with all his marvellous wisdom and 
reserve in this political crisis, had to se- 
quester himself for some months in the 
hospitable home of Judge White, Kent 
County, Del. , but on the whole the Methodist 
movement fared wondrously well in these 
seething times. 

In this Conference three preachers were 
received on trial, six into full membership, 
and nineteen formally appointed to circuits. 
Members were reported as 3,148 — an in- 
crease of 1,075, na N" of these gains being 
south of the Potomac. Maryland and that 
southern country was numerically the back- 

The First Conferences 63 

bone of Methodism. It was provided that 
some preachers should still exchange quar- 
terly, others semiannually, that the ex- 
penses of travelling from Conference to the 
circuits should be paid out of public collec- 
tions, and that a fast should be observed 
for spiritual prosperity and for the "peace 
of America." 

The next Conference was held in Balti- 
more, May 21-24, 1776. No contemporary 
official records exist of these early meet- 
ings, and our only source of information is 
the accounts of participants. Watters, one 
of the earliest of the native itinerants, gives 
an account which from its Methodist flavor 
may be taken as descriptive of most gather- 
ings in that time. "It was a good time, 
and I was much refreshed in meeting with 
my brethren and companions in tribulation 
and in the kingdom of Jesus Christ. We 
were of one heart and mind, and took 
sweet counsel together, not how we should 
get riches or honor, or anything that this 

64 The Methodists 

poor world could afford us ; but how we 
should make the surest work for heaven, 
and be the instruments of saving others. 
We had a powerful time in our love-feast a 
little before we parted, while we sat at our 
divine Master's feet, and gladly heard each 
other tell what the Lord had done for and 
by us in the different places in which we 
had been laboring." 

The Conference was held in the Lovely 
Lane chapel, the second built in the city 
(built in 1774), but poorly furnished, as the 
seats had no backs, and there were no 
stoves and no galleries. There was a gain 
of 1,773 m membership, making a total of 
4,921. The gains had been south. New 
York went down from 200 to 132, Phila- 
delphia from 190 to 137, and New Jersey 
from 300 to 150. Baltimore (900) and the 
great Brunswick circuit in Virginia had doub- 
led. There were twenty-five itinerants. 

The fifth Conference was held in the pri- 
vate house— called the "preaching house" 

The First Conferences 65 

— of John Watters, near Deer Creek, Har- 
ford County, Md., May 20, 1777. In spite of 
the war, there was an increase of members 
of 2,047, making 6,968 in all, with thirty- 
eight ministers. In the lack of Episcopal 
clergy, whom the war had returned to Eng- 
land, it was considered whether the preach- 
ers should administer the ordinances of 
baptism and the Lord's supper, "for as yet 
we had not the ordinances among us, but 
were dependent on other denominations 
for them, some receiving them from the 
Presbyterians, but the greater part from the 
Church of England. In fact we considered 
ourselves at this time as belonging to the 
Church of England." The matter was laid 
over. In view of the fact that most of the 
English preachers had asked for certificates 
of character with a view of going back 
during the year if they had opportunity, the 
Conference was a sad one. "Our hearts," 
says Watters, "were knit together as the 
hearts of David and Jonathan, and we 

66 The Methodists 

were obliged to use great violence to our 
feelings in tearing ourselves asunder." By 
the next Conference most of the English 
preachers had departed. "We parted," 
says Garretson, "bathed in tears, to meet 
no more in this world. I wish I could 
depict to the present generation of preach- 
ers the state of our young and prosperous 
society. We had gospel simplicity, and 
our hearts were united to Jesus and to one 
another. We were persecuted and at times 
buffeted; but we took our lives in our 
hands and went to our different appoint- 
ments, weeping and sowing precious seed, 
and the Lord owned and blessed his 

When the next Conference convened at 
Leesburg, Va., May 19, 1778, the desola- 
tions of war had sadly decimated the north- 
ern societies. Philadelphia and New York 
were in the grip of the British, and a 
royal fleet was menacing Maryland. Some 
preachers had been imprisoned, and Asbury 

The First Conferences 67 

was in confinement at Judge White's. 
There had been a loss of membership of 
873 and of eight among the ministers. 
Nothing daunted the Conference took on 
six new circuits in the south, and received 
eleven as probationers for the ministry. 
The administration of the sacraments was 
considered, but laid over again for another 

The seventh Conference was really two 
Conferences, — one held for the accommo- 
dation of Asbury and the northern preach- 
ers at the home of Judge White in Kent 
County, Del., April 28, 1779, and the other 
in the Broken Back Chapel, Fluvanna, Va., 
May 1 8, 1779. The first was attended by 
sixteen preachers and was dominated by 
Asbury, whose stern hand is seen in the 
pledge that each preacher shall take the 
"station this Conference shall place them 
in and continue till the next Conference," 
in the provisions that only the "assistants" 
(general superintendents) can appoint the 

68 The Methodists 

field for exhorters and local preachers, and 
that no "helper" (local pastor or regular 
preacher) can make any change in his cir- 
cuit or appoint any new preaching place 
without consulting the assistant. Preach- 
ers were to meet the class regularly and the 
children once a fortnight. "Shall we guard 
against a separation from the Church direct 
or indirect ? By all means. Ought not 
brother Asbury act as general assistant in 
America ? He ought. First, on account of 
his age; Second, because originally ap- 
pointed by Mr. Wesley; Third, being joined 
with Messrs. Rankin and Shadford by ex- 
press order from Mr. Wesley. How far 
will his power extend ? On hearing every 
preacher for and against what is in debate, 
the right of determination shall rest with 
him, according to the Minutes." This vir- 
tual self-appointment of Asbury as super- 
intendent in a session of a minority of 
the preachers, with the inaccurate reason 
alleged for it, is not a pleasing act to con- 

The First Conferences 69 

template, though the absolute power over 
the determination of the Conference re- 
served to him is in strict keeping with the 
spirit of the Wesleyan movement. The 
Conference in England was Wesley him- 
self, legally nothing more, nothing less, and 
Rankin had exercised the same power in 
America. But Asbury was not "joined 
with Rankin and Shadford," for Rankin 
was made sole superintendent, Asbury was 
ordered back to England but did not go, 
was always under Rankin who appointed 
him to circuits sometimes against his will, 
and Shadford was never mentioned at all as 
assistant. Another provision of the Dela- 
ware Conference was that preachers should 
be on trial two years instead of one. 

The main Conference was at Fluvanna, 
where forty-four preachers were reported 
(eleven on trial), twenty circuits, and 8, 577 
members (increase 2,482). Virginia was 
the banner colony with 3,800 members, 
Maryland came next with 1,900, and North 

70 The Methodists 

Carolina with 1,500. The war had kept 
the north reduced — only 1,114 in all. This 
Conference threshed out the sacrament 
question, and resolved to refuse the people 
the ordinances no longer. The matter had 
been pending ever since the first Confer- 
ence, the "Episcopal establishment is now 
dissolved and in almost all our circuits the 
members are without the ordinances," and 
many of the clergy had fled. Therefore 
the Conference appointed a committee — 
Gatch, Foster, Cole and Ellis — as a presby- 
tery, who ordained each other by the laying 
of hands, then ordained the other preachers 
who desired it, and adopted the following 
course. (1) To administer the sacraments 
only to those "under our care." (2) To 
rebaptize no one. fj) To baptize by 
"sprinkling or plunging, as the parents or 
adults may choose." (4) The ceremony of 
baptism should be short and extempore, 
according to Matt. 18: 19. (5) No sign of 
the cross should be used, and no sponsors 

The First Conferences 

7 1 

in infant baptism, but the parents or guard- 
ians should be given the care of the child 
with advice. (6) In the Lord's supper 
kneeling is preferred, but the form is left to 
the individual conscience; and the only 
ceremony is singing, prayer and exhorta- 
tion, the preacher delivering the bread say- 
ing, The body of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
Lee says that the southern preachers went 
forth and administered the sacraments, that 
great grace was upon them and large 
spiritual results followed. Some historians 
represent the Fluvanna action as unauthor- 
ized and usurping, but Stevens in a fair and 
convincing discussion (ii, 59-66) vindi- 
cates it. 

In 1780 there were also two Conferences 
held, one of Asbury and the northern 
preachers in Lovely Lane Church, Baltimore, 
April 24, and the other — the main body — at 
Manakintown, Powhatan County, Va., May 
8, though this last is strangely ignored in the 
official minutes published in 1795. Some 

72 The Methodists 

of the resolutions of the Baltimore Confer- 
ence were: Confirmation of the six months 
itinerant limit; rising at four or at latest at 
five; licenses from Asbury certifying con- 
nection of preachers with the Conference; 
local preachers and exhorters to have licenses 
renewable quarterly; to remain in close con- 
nection with the Church of England; to 
allow friendly clergy of that Church to 
preach and administer sacraments in our 
chapel; to meet colored people in class with 
white leaders; to speak to every person 
one by one where the preachers lodge, to 
pray with them and give exhortation after 
reading a chapter; to observe quarterly 
fasts; to disapprove distilling liquors and 
disown all who do not renounce it; preachers 
who hold slaves to set them free, and that 
"we do pass our disapprobation on all 
friends who keep slaves, and advise their 
freedom ; " and slavery itself denounced as 
contrary to the laws of God, man and 
nature, to conscience and religion and hurt- 

The First Conferences 73 

ful to society. As to the Fluvanna Con- 
ference, its proceedings are strongly disap- 
proved, and the preachers composing it are 
looked upon "no longer as Methodists in 
connection with Mr. Wesley till they come 
back," and they must suspend their sacra- 
mental ministration one year till the matter 
can be referred to Wesley, and all meet to- 
gether in Baltimore next year. 

Asbury and other leading preachers from 
the Baltimore Conference went to the Mana- 
kintown Conference — called by the former 
the "Virginia Conference," the "Virginia 
brethren " — and laid proposals of peace be- 
fore them. Dramatic contemporary ac- 
counts exist of the proceedings for union. 
Love and harmony of spirit existed on both 
sides, but neither would give up their opin- 
ion. The answer of the Virginia preachers 
was that they could not submit to the terms 
of union. " I returned to take leave of the 
Conference and to go off immediately to the 
North," says Asbury, "but found they had 

74 The Methodists 

been brought to an agreement while I was 
praying as with a broken heart in the house 
we went to lodge at; and brothers Watters 
and Garretson had been praying up-stairs, 
where the Conference sat." The numbers 
of 1780 were forty-three preachers and 8,504 

The ninth Conference met in Baltimore, 
April 24, 1 78 1 . Peace reigned supreme. All 
but one, is Asbury's glad comment, agreed 
to turn to the old plan and give up the ad- 
ministration or the ordinances. Certainly it 
was a modest role the early Methodists were 
content to play — to bring the people to Jesus 
and send them to the Episcopalians and 
Presbyterians for the sacraments. But it 
was a role that could not in the nature of 
things be permanent. For look at the in- 
crease, — 2,035 m tn ' s fi^h vear °f war » 
making 10, 539 in all, and fifty-five preachers. 
Of members only 873 lived north of the 
southern boundary of Pennsylvania. The 
Conference resolved "to preach the old 

The First Conferences 75 

Methodist doctrine, and strictly enforce the 
discipline, as contained in the Notes, Ser- 
mons and Minutes published by Wesley: " 
to require a ministerial trial of two years 
and a membership trial of three months; 
arbitrators should be appointed for all cases 
of disputes among members — the parties to 
abide by the decision or be excluded; that 
the preachers should read often before 
the societies the General Rules, Wesley's 
"Character of a Methodist," and his " Plain 
Account of Christian Perfection;" that a 
preacher must leave to his successor an ac- 
count and plan of his circuit — a kind of in- 
ventory ; and that four general fasts should 
be held during the year. 

The 1782 Conference was divided for the 
convenience of the preachers into two sec- 
tions, the northerly meeting at Baltimore, 
May 21, and the southern at Ellis Chapel, 
Sussex County, Va. ; on April 17. The Vir-^ 
ginia Conference was attended by Jarrat, 
a devout and earnest clergyman of the 

76 The Methodists 

Church of England, a kind of American 
Fletcher, who took great interest in the 
Methodists, and whose cordial attitude 
greatly strengthened Asbury's hands. Jar- 
rat preached repeatedly to this Conference, 
administered the sacraments, and en- 
couraged them greatly in their present atti- 
tude. If several men like Jarrat could have 
gone through the connection, giving the 
sacraments and holding the societies to the 
Episcopal Church, history might have been 
different. But the parish system forbade 
that. The Conference thanked Jarrat, and 
advised the " preachers in the south to con- 
sult him and take his advice in the absence 
of Asbury." The Baltimore Conference 
recognized Asbury as general assistant, 
"according to Mr. Wesley's original ap- 
pointment," and required a certificate of 
membership to be given to those moving 
from one society to another. There were 
sixty preachers in all, and 11,785 members 
(increase 1,246). 

The First Conferences 77 

The eleventh Conference was held in two 
sessions as before and in the same places, 
May, 1783. The temperance resolutions of 
1780 were reinforced by the declaration that 
the manufacture and sale of "drams is 
wrong in its nature and consequences," and 
that preachers must " teach the people to 
put away this evil." Local preachers were 
required to emancipate their slaves wher- 
ever the civil law allowed. It was required 
that all "assistants" — heads of circuits, 
local representatives of the general assistant 
— and all candidates for full membership 
should attend the Conference. It would 
appear that the under-travelling preachers 
were not required to attend. There were 
thirty-nine circuits, New York and Norfolk 
— swept off the list by the war — now reap- 
pearing, eighty-two itinerants (increase 
twenty-two), and 13,740 members (in- 
crease 1,955), of whom only 1,623 were 
north of Mason and Dixon's line. 

The twelfth and last of the early Annual 

78 The Methodists 

Conferences was held as before in Ellis's 
preaching-house, April 30, and in Baltimore, 
May 25, 1784. "William Glendenning had 
been devising a plan to lay me aside, or at 
least abridge my powers. Mr. Wesley's let- 
ter settled the point, and all was happy." So 
remarks Asbury. That letter was dated Oc- 
tober 3, 1783, and admonished all to "abide 
by the Methodist doctrine and discipline, 
published in the four volumes of sermons, 
and the notes upon the New Testament, 
together with the large minutes of Confer- 
ence." They must not receive preachers 
from England without recommendation, 
nor any "who make any difficulty in re- 
ceiving Francis Asbury as the general as- 
sistant." Then Wesley says their greatest 
danger will be persons who "shall arise 
speaking perverse things, and bringing in 
new doctrine, particularly Calvinism. You 
should guard against this with all possible 
care, for it is easier to keep them out than 
to thrust them out." Rules were passed 

The First Conferences 


making it obligatory upon every member to 
give something for the erection or relief of 
chapels, that preachers should avoid every 
superfluity of dress and speak frequently 
and faithfully against it in all societies," that 
all preachers who have "any knowledge of 
the notes of music should learn to sing 
themselves and keep close to Mr. Wesley's 
tunes and hymns," and that Asbury's allow- 
ance was to be £24 per annum, with his 
expenses for horse and travelling. For the 
first time the question was reported in the 
minutes, What preachers have died this 
year ? Their names only are given — later a 
brief characterization was added, and later 
still a biographical sketch. The slavery 
rules were made stricter — local preachers 
who will not emancipate their slaves to 
be borne with another year in Virginia 
and to be suspended in Maryland, Dela- 
ware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, travel- 
ling preachers thus to be employed no 
more, and for the first time members are 

80 The Methodists 

brought within the scope of the same 
requirement. Members who buy slaves 
except to emancipate them are to be ex- 



To one familiar with the course of events 
in England and America the complete sepa- 
rate organization of Methodism as a Church 
seems inevitable. The close of the Revolu- 
tionary War left no excuse for delay in 
forming that organization in America. Re- 
peated requests had gone over to Wesley 
to do something for the flock; finally Asbury 
himself wrote that the demand for the sac- 
raments and other Church privileges was 
imperative. After careful consideration 
Wesley resolved to act and to act promptly. 
No act in his life has subjected Wesley to 
such bitter criticism as the steps which he 
now took, though some critics have ex- 
cused him on the. ground of age or of over- 
persuasion. He was now eighty-two, but 

82 The Methodists 

in possession of his bodily and mental vigor 
to a remarkable degree, and continued to 
itinerate and to preach and write with his 
old power some years after this. So far 
from being overpersuaded he went about 
the matter with cool deliberation, himself 
taking the first step. On account of this 
criticism, however, it is fair to let Wesley 
speak for himself. 

In February, 1784, Wesley called Coke into 
his study in City Road, London, and spoke 
to him in substance as follows : As the Re- 
volution in America had separated the colon- 
ies from the mother country forever, and 
the Episcopal establishment was utterly 
abolished, the societies had been represented 
to him as in a most deplorable condition; 
that an appeal had been made through Mr. 
Asbury, in which he requested him to pro- 
vide some mode of Church government 
suited to their exigencies; and that having 
long and seriously revolved the subject in 
his thoughts he had intended to adopt the 

The Organization of the Church 83 

plan which he was now about to unfold; 
that as he had invariably endeavored in 
every step he had taken to keep as closely 
to the Bible as possible, so in the present 
decision he hoped he was not to deviate 
from it; that in keeping his eye upon the 
primitive Churches in the ages of unadulter- 
ated Christianity he had much admired the 
mode of ordaining bishops which the Church 
of Alexandria had practiced; (to preserve 
its purity that Church would never suffer 
the interference of a foreign bishop in any 
of their ordinations ; but the presbyters on 
the death of a bishop exercised the right of 
ordaining another from their own body; 
and this practice continued among them for 
200 years, till the days of Dionysius) ; and 
finally, that being himself a presbyter he 
wished Dr. Coke to accept ordination at his 
hands, and to proceed in that character to 
the continent of America to superintend the 
societies in the United States. 
The matter was discussed in the Confer- 

84 The Methodists 

ence of Leeds and favorably reported. 
Vasey and Whatcoat were designated 
by the Conference as men to go with 
Coke to help the work. These were or- 
dained elders by Wesley with the assistance 
of Creighton and Coke — both presbyters of 
the Church of England — and then Coke was 
ordained superintendent. Wesley presented 
them with the following documents which 
must be read by every one who would un- 
derstand the origin of American Methodism 
as a separate Denomination. 


" To all to whom these presents shall 
come, John Wesley, late fellow of Lincoln 
College in Oxford, Presbyter of the Church 
of England, sendeth greeting. 

"Whereas many of the people in the 
southern provinces of North America who 
desire to continue under my care, and still 
adhere to the doctrine and discipline of the 
Church of England, are greatly distressed 
for want of ministers to administer the sac- 
raments of baptism and the Lord's supper, 
according to the usage of the same Church ; 
and whereas there does not appear to be 

The Organization of the Church 85 

any other way of supplying them with min- 
isters : 

" Know all men that I, John Wesley, think 
myself to be providentially called at this 
time to set apart some persons for the work 
of the ministry in America. And therefore, 
under the protection of Almighty God, and 
with a single eye to his glory, I have this 
day set apart as a superintendent, by the im- 
position of my hands and prayer (being as- 
sisted by other ordained ministers), Thomas 
Coke, doctor of civil law, a presbyter of the 
Church of England, and a man whom I 
judge to be well qualified for that great 
work. And I do hereby recommend him to 
whom it may concern, as a fit person to pre- 
side over the flock of Christ. In testimony 
whereof I have hereunto set my hand and 
seal this second day of September, in the 
year of our Lord, one thousand seven hun- 
dred and eighty-four. 

"John Wesley." 


" To Dr. Coke, Mr- Asbury, and our 
Brethren in North America: 

" By a very uncommon train of provi- 
dences, many of the provinces of America 
are totally disjoined from the mother 
country, and erected into independent 
states. The English government has no 

86 The Methodists 

authority over them, either civil or ecclesias- 
tical, any more than over the states of Hol- 
land. A civil authority is exercised over 
them partly by the Congress, partly by the 
provincial assemblies. But no one either 
exercises or claims any ecclesiastical au- 
thority at all. In this peculiar situation 
some of the inhabitants of these states de- 
sire my advice; and in compliance with 
their desire I have drawn up a little sketch. 

"Lord King's account of the primitive 
church convinced me, many years ago, that 
Bishops and Presbyters are the same order, 
and consequently have the same right to 
ordain. For many years I have been im- 
portuned from time to time to exercise this 
right, by ordaining a part of our preachers. 
But I have still refused ; not only for peace 
sake, but because I was determined as little 
as possible to violate the established order 
of the national church to which I belonged. 

" But the case is widely different between 
England and North America. Here there 
are bishops who have a legal jurisdiction. 
In America there are none, neither any 
parish minister. So that for some hundreds 
of miles together there are none either to 
baptize or to administer the Lord's supper. 
Here, therefore, my scruples are at an end; 
and I conceive myself at full liberty, as I 
violate no order, and invade no man's rights 
by appointing and sending laborers into the 

The Organization of the Church 87 

" I have accordingly appointed Dr. Coke 
and Mr. Francis Asbury to be joint superin- 
tendents over our brethren in America ; as also 
Richard Whatcoat and Thomas Vasey to 
act as elders among them, by baptizing 
and administering the Lord's supper. And 
I have prepared a liturgy, little differing 
from that of the Church of England (I 
think the best constituted church in the 
world), which I advise all the travelling 
preachers to use on the Lord's day in all the 
congregations, reading the litany only on 
Wednesdays and Fridays, and praying ex- 
tempore on all other days. I also advise 
the elders to administer the supper of the 
Lord on every Lord's day. 

" If any one will point out a more rational 
and scriptural way of feeding and guiding 
these poor sheep in the wilderness, I will 
gladly embrace it. At present I cannot see 
any better method than that I have taken. 

"It has indeed been proposed to desire 
the English bishops to ordain part of our 
preachers for America. But to this I object, 
— (1) 1 desired the Bishop of London to 
ordain one; but 1 could not prevail. (2) If 
they consented, we know the slowness of 
their proceedings; but the matter admits of 
no delay. (3) If they could ordain them 
now they would expect to govern them, 
and how grievously would this entangle us! 
(4) As our American brethren are now dis- 
entangled, both from the state and English 

88 The Methodists 

hierarchy, we dare not entangle them again, 
either with the one or the other. They are 
now at full liberty simply to follow the 
Scriptures and the primitive church. And 
we judge it best that they should stand fast 
in that liberty wherewith God has so 
strangely set them free. 

"John Wesley." 

Coke had a share of the catholic religions 
and literary tastes of Wesley, and his jour- 
nal of his voyage across makes interesting 
reading. He reads a life of Xavier and ex- 
claims, " O for a soul like his ! But, glory 
to God ! there is nothing impossible with 
him. I want the wings of an angel and 
the voice of a trumpet that I may proclaim 
the Gospel through the East and West, the 
North and the South." Then he turns to 
the life of the Congregational missionary 
saint, Brainerd, and writes: "O that I may 
follow him as he followed Christ." Wesley's 
proposition to give him ordination had led 
him to read up on the Episcopal contro- 
versy. He continued his study by read- 

The Organization of the Church 89 

ing Bishop Howley's Treatise of Defense 
of Conformity (1703) and of Episcopacy 

" He is a powerful reasoner, but is, I be- 
lieve, wrong in his premises. However, he 
is very candid. In one place he allows the 
truth of St. Jerome's account of the presby- 
ters of Alexandria, who, as Jerome informs 
us, elected their own bishops for two hun- 
dred years, from the time of St. Mark to 
the time of Dionysius. In another place he 
makes this grand concession, viz., 'I think 
not an uninterrupted line of regularly- 
ordained bishops necessary ' (page 489). In 
several other places he grants that there 
may be cases of necessity which may justify 
a Presbyterian ordination. But he really 
seems to prove one thing, — that it was the 
universal practice of the church, from the 
latter end of the lives of the apostles to the 
time of the Reformation, to invest the 
power of ordination in a church officer 
superior to the presbyters, whom the church 

90 The Methodists 

soon after the death of the apostles called 
bishop by way of preeminence." 

Augustine Confessions he reads daily. 
" St. Austins meditations were this day 
made no small blessing to my soul." 

But more interesting is his whiling his 
time with the Eclogues and Georgics of 
Virgil which "by a kind of magic power 
convey me to fields and groves and purling 
brooks, and paint before my eyes all the 
feigned beauties of Arcadia, and would al- 
most persuade me that it was possible to be 
happy without God. However, they serve 
now and then to unbend the mind." 

The Methodist preachers received Coke 
with heartiness — no one more so than As- 
bury. Wesley's scheme — at least parts of 
it — was laid before them, and one of the 
most zealous and respected of preachers — 
Garretson — was sent to summon his labor- 
ers to a Conference which should meet 
at Baltimore to consider the plan. Ac- 
cordingly on December 24, 1784, the 

The Organization of the Church 9] 

preachers came together. And here it will 
not be amiss to quote a contemporary 
opinion of Coke — that by one of the ablest 
of the members of that band of humble 
preachers who were to organize a Church 
whose future growth and influence was to 
transcend those venerable and proud ecclesi- 
asticisms which had been for centuries 
in possession of the field, and which looked 
down with scorn and sometimes with per- 
secuting animosity on this " ignorant and 
fanatical" intruder in the great harvest 
field. "At first," says Thomas Ware, "I 
was not pleased with his (Coke's) appear- 
ance. His stature, complexion and voice 
resembled that of a woman rather than of a 
man; and his manners were too courtly for 
me. So unlike was he to the grave and, as 
I conceived, apostolic Asbury that his ap- 
pearance did not prepossess me favorably. 
He had several appointments to the circuit 
to which I conducted him ; and, before we 
parted, I saw so many things to admire in 

92 The Methodists 

him that I no longer marvelled at his being 
selected by Wesley to serve us in the 
capacity of superintendent. In public he 
was generally admired, and in private he 
was communicative and edifying. At one 
time in a large circle he expressed himself 
as follows: ' I am charmed by the spirit of 
my American brethren. Their love for Mr. 
Wesley is not surpassed by that of their 
brethren in Europe. It is founded in the 
excellence — the divinity — of the religion 
which he has been the instrument of re- 
viving, and which has shed its beneficent 
influence in this land of freedom. I see in 
both preachers and people a resolution to 
venture on any bold act of duty, when 
called to practice piety before the ungodly, 
and to refuse compliance with fashionable 
vice. I see,' he continued with a counte- 
nance glowing with delight, ' a great and 
effectual door open for the promulgation of 
Methodism in America, whose institutions 
I greatly admire, and whose prosperity I no 

The Organization of the Church 93 

less wish than I do that of the land which 
gave me birth. In the presence of Mr. As- 
bury I feel myself a child. He is in my es- 
timation the most apostolic man I ever saw, 
except Mr. Wesley.' These remarks of 
Dr. Coke made an impression on every 
mind not soon to be forgotten. He was 
the best speaker in a private circle or in 
Conference I ever heard. But his voice was 
too weak to command a very large audi- 
ence. Yet this he could sometimes do; and 
when he did succeed in it his preaching 
was very impressive. Some of the first 
scholars in the country have been heard to 
say that he spoke the purest English they 
ever heard. His fine classical taste did not 
raise him in our estimation above the 
weakest of his brethren. His administra- 
tion of the ordinances at our quarterly 
meetings was singularly owned of God. 
Vast multitudes attended, and the power of 
the Lord was present to wound and to heal. 
The whole peninsula seemed moved; and 

94 The Methodists 

the people in multitudes flocked to hear the 
doctor, who spent some time in this 
favored shore. Never did I see any one 
who seemed to enjoy himself better than 
he did, while thousands pressed to him to 
have their children dedicated to the Lord by 
baptism, and to receive the holy supper at 
his hands. Daily accessions were made to 
the Church." 

In the rude Lovely Lane chapel, furnished 
with a stove kindly loaned by some friends 
and with plain benches, the Methodist 
Episcopal Church was organized, December 
24, 1784. Coke took the chair, read Wes- 
ley's letter of authorization quoted above, 
and submitted the matter to the body. 
They resolved to organize an episcopal 
Church, with superintendents, elders and 
deacons. Wesley had requested Coke to 
ordain Asbury superintendent. The latter 
refused unless he was elected by the 
preachers. Coke and Asbury were unani- 
mously elected superintendents, ordination 

The Organization of the Church 95 

speedily following — Asbury as deacon on 
December 25, an elder on the 26th, and a su- 
perintendent on the 27th, Coke being as- 
sisted by Vasey and Whatcoat in all these 
ordinations and in that of superintendent by 
Otterbein, an evangelical and pious minis- 
ter of the German Reformed Church in 
Baltimore, who in 1800 organized the 
Church of the United Brethren in Christ. 
After that they enacted rules of discipline, 
considered the project of a college, or- 
dained deacons and elders, and "ended 
the Conference with great peace and 

In a brief sketch like the present it is im- 
possible to consider questions which have 
been the subject of fierce controversy. A 
word here may be said, however, on what 
Wesley intended in sending Coke to 
America. (1) Did he intend to organize 
a church in entire independence of the 
Church of England in the colonies? (2) 
Did he intend to institute episcopacy ? (3) 

96 The Methodists 

Did Coke faithfully carry out his instruc- 
tions? On these questions I would say: 
(1) There were profound inconsistencies 
in Wesley's relation to the Church of Eng- 
land. Professing constantly undiminished 
love for that Church, circumstances were 
always driving him to acts utterly incon- 
sistent with loyalty thereto. So here. In 
his letter concerning Coke's appointment he 
says: "Whereas many people in the 
southern provinces of North America, who 
desire to continue under my care, and still 
adhere to the doctrine and discipline of the 
Church of England," etc., in which he is 
entirely unconscious of the purpose to es- 
tablish a new Church independent of the 
Church of England. And yet he ordains 
Coke a superintendent, really a bishop, 
with the authority to ordain Asbury as su- 
perintendent and other preachers elders, 
and gives them a revised edition of the 
Prayer Book with the offices for the ordain- 
ing of deacons, elders and superintendents. 

The Organization of the Church 97 

Could Wesley have thought that, when 
a Church in communion with the Church 
of England would have been again estab- 
lished in America with its own bishops, it 
would take over his presbyterially ordained 
men as ministers? He was extraordinarily 
guileless if he considered his commission to 
Coke not virtually the establishment of a 
new denomination. 

(2) Wesley did not intend to institute 
an episcopacy in the sense of the bishops of 
the Church of England, but he did intend to 
institute bishops in the sense of presbyters 
consecrated to an office of oversight. For 
this purpose he transmitted an order for the 
ordaining of such men. They were to 
have neither the name nor worldly pre- 
rogatives of bishops, but they were to have 
spiritual powers analogous to those pos- 
sessed by Wesley, which far exceeded the 
powers of any Protestant bishop in the 
world. In 1787 Asbury and Coke on their 
own motion took the title of bishop, which 

98 The Methodists 

called out a severe — though illogical — re- 
buke by Wesley. 

(3) There is ample evidence that Coke 
did not carry out Wesley's instructions, but 
exactly wherein he failed it is impossible to 
say. Wesley sent with Coke a sketch or 
plan of the new disposition the American 
societies were now to receive. That sketch 
has never been revealed: it has perished. 
Henry Moore, an eminent Methodist minis- 
ter in England, a contemporary of Coke, 
says that Coke did not in all respects carry 
out Wesley's thought. Besides, Coke him- 
self confesses in his letter to Bishop White 
— the famous confidential letter in which 
he proposes his own ordination as bishop 
in the Church of England sense — that he 
went farther in the way of separation from 
the Church of England than Wesley in- 
tended. My own solution of the case is 
this: Coke found that Wesley's scheme of 
his American societies under the direction 
of two superintendents, appointed entirely 

The Organization of the Church 99 

by himself and who were to be still under 
him, who were to ordain elders to give the 
sacraments, but still looking for compre- 
hension under the Church of England or its 
successor in America, — Coke found that 
this scheme was not suited to local condi- 
tions, that it did not meet with Asbury's 
approval, who was thoroughly acquainted 
with the ground, and with whose objec- 
tions Coke immediately fell in. The great 
founder's plan was therefore somewhat 
modified in the direction of a more inde- 
pendent position to the new Church. That 
these modifications chimed in with a nat- 
ural and not sinful ambition and love of 
power on the part of both there is not the 
least reason to doubt. This was specially 
true of Coke, who said himself that it was 
due to him that the American Church be- 
came episcopal and not presbyterian. As- 
bury's refusal to act as superintendent ex- 
cept as elected by the Conference had a far- 
reaching significance. 

loo The Methodists 

The liturgy that Wesley provided was 
used in some of the city Churches for a few 
years, and then was quietly dropped. The 
genius of Methodism was inhospitable to a 
prayer-book. It was never printed on this 
side, and after 1792 all trace of it disappears. 
The same is true of gowns and bands, 
which had a brief vogue. 

The disciplinary regulations were in the 
line of the previous development. Severe 
measures were taken against slavery, but 
the institution had become too deeply 
rooted, and even the strict ethical code of 
Methodism was powerless against a social 
and economic system that had woven itself 
into the fibre of the nation. The golden 
promise of these lofty rules of 1784 was 
not kept — perhaps could not be. 

The duties and functions of the different 
orders or grades of ministers were fixed 
after the episcopal pattern in about their 
present form. The superintendents suc- 
ceeded to Wesley's place in their power of 

The Organization of the Church 101 

ordination, of presiding in the Conferences, 
of determining the fields of the preachers, 
and in their power of receiving and sus- 
pending preachers in the interval of Con- 
ference and of receiving and deciding ap- 
peals. Later action has much abridged 
their power in these two latter respects. 
The superintendent is amenable for his 
general conduct to the conference. The 
Episcopal prejudices of Asbury and Coke 
are seen in the hard-and-fast delimita- 
tion of the elder and deacon, according to 
Catholic pattern. The Minutes were to be 
published annually. Hitherto they had re- 
mained in manuscript, those before 1785 
not being published until John Dickens is- 
sued them all in 1794 or 1795. The salary 
of the regular preacher was fixed at sixty- 
four dollars, but with provision made for 
wife and children under eleven, though 
with distinct prohibition of any fee or pres- 
ent for marriages, baptisms or funerals. A 
fund, however, was established at this Con- 

102 The Methodists 

ference for worn-out ministers called the 
Preacher's Fund (merged into the Chartered 
Fund in 1796), to be kept up mainly by an 
annual tax on the preachers. This latter 
feature was subsequently discontinued to 
the virtual destruction of the Fund as an 
adequate resource. Members were to have 
choice of modes of receiving baptism and 
the Lord's supper, and rebaptism was al- 
lowed. Strange to say the Methodism of 
1784 was made close communion, — a re- 
striction that was later abolished, and 
manuscript research has shown that for 
one year at least early Methodism was 
Baptist also in restricting baptism to im- 
mersion. Over against the close com- 
munion feature, however, was liberal pro- 
vision thoroughly in harmony with the 
whole Methodist history that members 
might regularly attend divine service and 
receive the eucharist in other Churches with- 
out forfeiting their standing, while "they 
comply with our rules." 

The Organization of the Church 103 

As to the doctrinal basis of the new 
Church Wesley stripped the Thirty-nine 
Articles of all their distinctively Catholic 
and Calvinistic elements, retaining simply 
the general doctrines of evangelical Prot- 
estantism. But even this abridged creed 
was not made a test of membership in the 
societies — that was a later action. The 
Conference did not adopt Wesley's Ser- 
mons and Notes, previous action in this 
respect being neither affirmed nor rescinded. 
These Sermons and Notes, however, remain 
a moral standard of great value, because 
they show the characteristic teaching of 
Wesley and his preachers, but they are not 
in the strict sense a legal standard as in 
England and Canada. 



Philip Embury, the first trustee, the first 
treasurer, the first class-leader, and the first 
preacher in the Methodist movement in 
America, served the cause gratuitously in 
New York until his place was taken by 
regular helpers. In fact, all the early 
preachers served for nothing, so far as 
salary was concerned, receiving only do- 
nations for clothing, horse, books, etc., — 
the first provision for steady maintenance 
being made in 1774. Not long after 1769 
Embury and others removed to Camden, 
Washington County, N. Y., where he con- 
tinued to labor as a local preacher. He 
formed a society at Ashgrove, the first class 
in what is now Troy Conference. While 
mowing in his field in 1775 he injured him- 

Eighteenth Century Heroes 105 

self so that he died, " greatly beloved and 
much lamented," says Asbury. 

The brave and large hearted British soldier, 
Thomas Webb, might almost be considered 
the founder of Methodism in America, so 
early and extensive were his labors. He 
survived the slaughter of Braddocks defeat 
in 1755, lost an eye and was otherwise in- 
jured in the storming and capture of the 
French fort of Louisburg, Cape Breton, N. S., 
in 1758, and a year after (as I say elsewhere 
— see McClintock and Strong, "Cyc," X 
897-8) scaled the heights of Abraham with 
Wolfe, and saw Canada pass forever from 
the hands of the French. He was converted 
under a sermon by Wesley in Bristol in 1765, 
united with the Methodists and commenced 
preaching. We next hear of him as bar- 
rack-master of Albany. The report that the 
Methodists had started services in New York 
reached him, and he repaired thither (spring 
of 1767). Webb was the providential man. 
As Daniels finely says: "The little society 

106 The Methodists 

needed a leader — Webb was born to com- 
mand. They needed another preacher of 
more experience, learning and power — 
Webb was one of the best preachers on the 
continent. They needed money wherewith 
to house their young society — Webb was 
rich and generous. It would have been a 
hard matter for them to have suited them- 
selves by a choice out of all the Methodist 
preachers, better than God had suited them." 
He was soon placed in the retired list of the 
army, with full pay and was free to devote 
himself to the cause. He headed the sub- 
scription list of the John Street Church, saw 
it dedicated in 1768, introduced Methodism 
on Long Island, in New Jersey and in Phila- 
delphia — all in 1768, made possible the pur- 
chase of St. George's Church in 1770, and 
traversed Delaware and Maryland. Finally 
the Revolutionary war made the country too 
hot for him, and he bade a reluctant good- 
bye to America. He secured a house in 
Portland, overlooking Bristol, but still con- 

Eighteenth Century Heroes 107 

tinued to travel as a preacher, being listened 
to by immense congregations — in the mar- 
ket-places, in the open air, anywhere. 
"Captain Webb is a man of fire," said 
Wesley, "and the power of God constantly 
attends his word." The statesman John 
Adams heard him and writes in 1774, " Mr. 
Webb is one of the most fluent, eloquent 
men I ever heard. He reaches the imagi- 
nation, and touches the passions very well, 
and expresses himself with great propriety." 
He died in Portland, December 20, 1796, aged 
seventy-two years, and was laid to rest un- 
der the chancel of the Methodist chapel 
there which he himself had largely helped to 

Robert Strawbridge was an earnest, im- 
petuous, warm-hearted Irishman, born at 
Drumsuagh, County Leitrim, lived in coun- 
ties Sligo, Cavan, and Armagh, mostly at 
Tanderagee, and sounded the gospel trum- 
pet through all those regions. In 1 764 or '65, 
with his young wife from Terryhugan, he 

108 The Methodists 

emigrated to America, and plunged into the 
"backwoods" of Frederick County, Md. 
He opened his house for preaching, formed 
a society, built the log meeting-house near 
his home at Sams Creek, but not content 
with that became an itinerant preacher in 
Maryland, southern Pennsylvania, Delaware 
and Virginia. He won numerous converts, 
some of them became preachers (one of 
them was the first native itinerant — Richard 
Owen, another the father of the famous 
Bonds — the Rev. John Wesley Bond, travel- 
ling companion of Asbury, and Thomas 
Bond, M. D., the great conservative Method- 
ist editor), and formed numerous societies, 
— the real founder of Methodism in that 
great southern land where it won its great- 
est triumphs. But we do not find his name 
on the minutes till 1773, and after 1775 it 
disappears without comment, — probably be- 
cause he would not obey Asbury's iron rule, 
but insisted on administering the sacraments 
when the people desired them. But he still 

Eighteenth Century Heroes 109 

continued preaching as a Methodist, until he 
finally became pastor of Sams Creek and 
Brush Forest societies. He was given a 
home at last by the generous Captain Ridgely 
at Long Green, near Baltimore, where he 
died probably in the summer of 1781. 

Like many of the early preachers Straw- 
bridge preached the Gospel with power and 
bore home upon the conscience with tre- 
mendous effect. A man who attended one 
of his meetings heard his heart and life de- 
scribed accurately, and went home in dis- 
gust. The next time he tried to hide him- 
self behind the people, but still found the 
preacher apparently aiming the sermon at 
him. The third time he hid behind the door, 
but was amazed to hear the text, "A man 
shall be as a hiding-place," etc. To cap all, 
in the midst of the sermon the preacher 
cried out: "Sinner, come out from your 
scouting hole! " The man thoroughly con- 
founded could stand it no longer, but came 
forward and said to the preacher, " You are 

no The Methodists 

a wizard, and the devil is in you: I will 
hear you no more." 

Asbury could never quite get over Straw- 
bridge's independence, and when the latter 
died he wrote of him in words that seem 
almost laughable when we remember the 
Irishman's consecrated and conquering life, 
and his importance as the pioneer founder 
in the south: "He is no more, he is no 
more. Upon the whole I am inclined to 
think that the Lord took him away in judg- 
ment because he was in a way to do hurt to 
his cause, and that he saved him in mercy 
because from his deathbed conversation he 
appears to have had hope in his end." 

In his eloquent address at the Centennial 
Methodist Conference held in Baltimore in 
December, 1884, President Charles J. Little 
compares these three pioneers: "How 
sharply contrasted are these three men! 
The impetuous, but sweet-voiced Straw- 
bridge; the diffident, tearful Embury; the 
fiery, energetic, strong voiced, large-hearted 

Eighteenth Century Heroes ill 

Webb! They may be called the pioneer 
founders of American Methodism. They 
came to America, not as missionaries, but 
two of them to seek a living, and the third 
in the service of his king. Their religious 
activity was the necessary outcome of their 
religious experience, and the spiritual desti- 
tution of their neighbors. Untrained 
though not illiterate, they demonstrated 
once more the contagious character of 
earnest conviction, the diffusive nature of 
living faith. Seizing upon the truths which 
were livable, they preached them in the 
light of their own experience. Their 
speech was what spiritual speech always 
should be, the mere overflow of a well of 
living water which was in them to everlast- 
ing life." 

Robert Williams was the first to respond 
to the cry for help from America, and was 
an indefatigable laborer, being the apostle 
of Virginia and North Carolina. " He has 
been a very useful, laborious man," says 

112 The Methodists 

Asbury, when he died in 1775. " The Lord 
gave him many seals to his ministry. Per- 
haps no one in America had been an instru- 
ment for awakening so many souls as God 
has awakened by him " — standing on a 
stump, block, or log, he would preach to 
the people as they passed along. Besides, 
he was the first to use the printing-press 
and thus did another work of incalculable 

John King came to America in 1769 and 
began immediately to preach in Philadel- 
phia, giving out an appointment for the 
Potter's Field. He went through Delaware 
and Maryland, where Strawbridge and 
Williams hailed him as a welcome co- 
worker. His first pulpit in Baltimore was 
a blacksmith's block at the corner of Front 
and French streets, his next, a table at the 
corner of Baltimore and Calvert streets, 
which, however, some roughs overturned. 
He continued a laborious and a useful min- 
istry until he located in 1803. It was to 

Eighteenth Century Heroes 1 13 

him that Wesley wrote one of his wisest 
and most characteristic letters : 

"My dear brother, always take advice or 
reproof as a favor; it is the surest mark of 
love. I advised you once and you took it 
as an affront; nevertheless I will do it once 
more. Scream no more at the peril of your 
soul. God now warns you by me, whom 
he has set over you. Speak as earnestly as 
you can, but do not scream. Speak with 
all your heart, but with a moderate voice. 
It was said of our Lord, 'He shall not cry.' 
The word properly means, he shall not 
scream. Herein be a follower of me, as I 
am of Christ. I often speak loud, often 
vehemently; but I never scream. I never 
strain myself; I dare not; I know it would 
be a sin against God and my own soul. 
Perhaps one may reason why that good 
man, Thomas Walsh, yea, and John Man- 
ners too, were in such grievous darkness 
before they died, was because they short- 
ened their lives. O, John, pray for an ad- 

114 The Methodists 

visable and teachable temper. By nature 
you are very far from it; you are stubborn 
and headstrong. Your last letter was writ- 
ten in a very wrong spirit. If you cannot 
take advice from others, surely you might 
take it from your affectionate brother," etc. 
I have already referred to the work of 
Boardman and Pilmoor, the preachers sent 
over by Wesley. Many were their adven- 
tures, but unhappily they left no record. 
Would they had been the persistent diarists 
of Wesley and Asbury ! At Charleston, S. 
C, Pilmoor could find no place for preach- 
ing except a theatre. While earnestly 
preaching, the part of the platform where 
he was standing, with the chair and table 
gave way, descending by a trap-door into 
the cellar — an interruption due to some 
practical jokers of the baser sort. Spring- 
ing upon the stage with the table he shouted 
in good humor, " Come on, my friends; we 
will by the grace of God defeat the devil 
this time, and not be driven by him from 

Eighteenth Century Heroes 1 15 

our work," and invited the audience to the 
adjoining yard where he finished his dis- 
course. Thousands were converted under 
these men. Pilmoor and Boardman re- 
turned to England in January, 1774, but 
immediately took up work again under 
Wesley. In 1785, Pilmoor returned to 
America, was ordained by Bishop Seabury, 
became rector in Philadelphia, where he 
carried on a spiritual and most successful 
ministry until his death, in his ninetieth year, 
July 24, 1825. Boardman itinerated in Eng- 
land and Ireland until his sudden death by 
apoplexy in Cork in 1782. 

George Shadford was one of the most 
beautiful characters among the early itin- 
erants. When Wesley sent him over in 
1773 he wrote him : " Dear George, the time 
has arrived for you to embark for America. 
You must go down to Bristol where you 
will meet with Thomas Rankin, Captain 
Webb and his wife. I let you loose, George, 
on the great continent of America. Publish 

n6 The Methodists 

your message in the open face of the sun, 
and do all the good you can. 1 am, dear 
George, yours affectionately," etc. Shad- 
ford had great revivals, as he preached in 
demonstration of the Spirit. " Moral mira- 
cles were performed, hell's dark empires 
shook, and victory was proclaimed on the 
Lord's side." A singular case of mistaken 
diagnosis he encountered near Baltimore. 
A young man convinced of sin was thought 
by his parents to be mad, and they chained 
him to a bed. They then sent for Shadford 
who prayed with and counselled him, and 
led him into the light of God. He was 
loosed from his chains, became a preacher, 
and won many converts. In 1775-6 under 
Shadford and his assistants one of the 
greatest revivals known in American history 
occurred in the extensive Brunswick circuit, 
Virginia. "I cannot describe," says Lee, 
"one half of what I saw, heard and felt. 
Such a work 1 had never seen or heard of 
before. It continued to spread through the 

Eighteenth Century Heroes 1 17 

southern parts of Virginia and the adjacent 
parts of North Carolina all that summer and 
autumn." People were prostrated under 
the power of God. Jarrat, a devout and 
earnest Episcopal minister, entered heartily 
into this work. ' ' Many experienced perfect 
love," says Jarrat, at this time and their 
lives proved it. "Upon the whole, this 
has been a great deep, a swift, and an ex- 
tensively glorious work," continues the en- 
thusiastic rector. It sent hundreds of peo- 
ple into the Episcopal Church as well as 
into the Methodist societies: in fact it was 
such work as these humble itinerants did 
which saved the Episcopal Church from 
extinction in various sections of the south. 
As the Revolutionary years wore away, 
Shadford found great difficulty in pursuing 
his work. " 1 could not travel without a 
pass, nor have a pass without taking the 
oaths." He met Asbury at Judge White's 
in Delaware. " Let us have a day of part- 
ing and prayer," said Shadford, "that the 

n8 The Methodists 

Lord may direct us ; for we were never in 
such circumstances since we were Methodist 
preachers." In the evening when they met 
Shadford asked, "What is your conclu- 
sion?" " I do not see my way clear to go 
to England," said Asbury. "My work is 
done," replied Shadford; "I cannot stay; 
it is impressed on my mind that I ought to 
go hence as strongly as it was at first to go 
to America." "Then one of us must be 
under a delusion, " said Asbury. ' ' Not so, " 
said the clear-headed Shadford, " I may have 
a call to go, and you to stay." He returned 
to England in 1778, labored under Wesley 
until 1 79 1, retired to Frome on account of 
failing strength, still labored earnestly as 
opportunity offered, and died March 1 1 , 
1 8 16, aged seventy-seven — a beautiful spirit, 
loving and beloved, and a great revivalist. 

Thomas Rankin was a strong-minded 
Scotchman whom Wesley appointed his 
representative (assistant) in America, and 
who endeavored to bring the societies into 

Eighteenth Century Heroes 119 

well-disciplined order. Utterly sincere and 
consecrated, his lack of tact and knowledge 
of American conditions brought many in- 
conveniences to Asbury. Rankin looked 
upon the Revolutionary troubles as the 
answer of God to slavery. At a Fast Day 
appointed by Congress he preached at Gun- 
powder Falls, Md. "I told them," he says, 
"that the sins of Great Britain and her 
colonies had long called aloud for vengeance, 
and in a peculiar sense the dreadful sin of 
buying and selling the souls and bodies of 
the poor Africans." He helped Shadford 
in the mighty revival spoken of above, and 
saw whole congregations given up to 
prayers and cryings and triumphant re- 
joicing, and himself and Shadford so over- 
come as to be able only to sit still and see 
the glory of God. A Virginian justice gave 
him this testimony: "How amazing the 
change wrought in this place! Before the 
Methodist came into these parts, when 1 
was called by my office to attend court, there 

120 The Methodists 

was nothing but drunkenness, cursing, 
swearing, and fighting most of the time the 
court sat; whereas now nothing is heard 
but prayer and praise and conversing about 
God and the things of God." He returned 
to England in 1778, and labored under Wes- 
ley in London until his death, May 17, 1810. 
His severity and peremptoriness as assistant 
in America greatly annoyed Asbury, and 
recent researches among Asbury's manu- 
scripts have shown that both write to 
Wesley in no complimentary manner con- 
cerning each other. In fact Wesley at one 
time recalled Asbury, but the latter was 
then hundreds of miles from where a letter 
could reach him, and thus he was for- 
tunately saved from leaving the country 
upon which he had set his heart. 

Of Asbury himself I can do no better than 

to quote the fine characterization of Prof. 

Charles J. Little ("Centennial Conference 

Proceedings," N. Y., 1885, 218). 

" He had a robust figure, a face of 

Eighteenth Century Heroes 121 

blended sweetness and severity, an eye 
that saw far more than it revealed, a voice 
steadied by an iron will, but tremulous 
with feelings that sometimes shook his soul 
as a reed is shaken by the wind. He had 
none of Williams wild earnestness; he was 
without the charm of Strawbridge or the 
gentle harmlessness of Richard Whatcoat. 
He had not the thorough humanness of 
Jesse Lee, nor the mystical tenderness and 
strength of Freeborn Garretson. 

" ' Thy soul was like a star, and dwelt apart ; 

Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea ; 
Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free, 
So didst thou travel on life's common way 
In cheerful godliness, and yet thy heart 
The lowliest duties on herself did lay.' 

" He had refused to live in cities, and by 
his ceaseless movements kept alive the 
arterial system of early Methodism. How 
different were the men who fell into each 
other's arms at Barrett's Chapel on the 14th 
of November, 1784 — Thomas Coke, the 
only child of a wealthy house, and Francis 

122 The Methodists 

Asbury, the only son of an English gar- 
dener! The one an Oxford graduate; the 
other the self-taught scholar of a frontier 
world. Coke, impulsive, fluent, rhetorical; 
Asbury, reticent, pithy, of few words, but 
mighty in speech when stirred by a great 
theme, a great occasion, or the inrushing of 
the Holy Spirit. Coke's mind was as mo- 
bile as his character was stable. Asbury's 
conclusions matured of themselves, and, 
once formed, were as steadfast as his love 
for Christ. Coke could never separate him- 
self wholly from England; Asbury could 
never separate himself from America. 
Coke crossed the Atlantic eighteen times; 
Asbury never crossed it but once, not even 
to see his aged mother, for whose comfort 
he would have sold his last shirt and parted 
with his last dollar. Coke found missions 
in the West Indies, in Africa, in Asia, in 
England, in Wales, in Ireland; Asbury took 
one continent for his own, and left the im- 
press of his colossal nature upon every 

Eighteenth Century Heroes 123 

community within its borders. Coke was 
rich and gave generously of his abundance; 
out of his poverty Asbury supported his 
aged parents, smoothed the declining years 
of the widow of John Dickens, helped the 
poor encountered on his ceaseless journeys, 
and at last gave to the Church the legacies 
intended for his comfort by loving friends. 
Coke was twice married; Asbury refused 
to bind a woman to his life of sacrifice, and 
the man whom little children ran to kiss 
and hug was buried in a childless grave. 
Both were loved; both were at times mis- 
understood; both were sharply dealt with 
by some of their dearest friends; but As- 
bury was not only opposed and rebuked, 
he was vilified and traduced. Neither 
shrank from danger nor from hardships; but 
Asbury's life was continuous hardships, un- 
til at last rest itself could yield him no re- 
pose. A sort of spiritual Cromwell, com- 
pelled obedience at every cost to himself as 
well as to others, Asbury could have broken 

124 The Methodists 

his mother's heart to serve the cause for 
which he died daily. Coke lies buried be- 
neath the waves he crossed so often ; but 
around the tomb of Asbury beat continually 
the surges of an ever-increasing human life, 
whose endless agitations shall feel, until 
the end of time, the shaping of his invisi- 
ble, immortal hand." 

Asbury was the coordinating force that 
kept the societies together, consolidated 
them and made them into a denomination, 
which at his death extended over the Alle- 
ghany Mountains, which he crossed several 
times, down into Tennessee far beyond the 
confines of the thirteen colonies. He knew 
how to unite strict discipline and the auto- 
cratic rule which Wesley stamped on the 
Methodist movement, with mildness and 
concession, and by yielding certain rights 
to the Conferences had the wisdom to keep 
all his own unimpaired. He and Coke 
stamped the Episcopal polity on American 
Methodism, assumed on their own motion 

Eighteenth Century Heroes 125 

the title of bishop, and when Coke tried to 
retrace his steps and bring the new Church 
into relation to the Protestant Episcopal 
Church, he did so secretly, and afterwards 
exposed himself to the rebuke both of As- 
bury and the Conference. Asbury's career 
is surpassed only by that of Wesley, and in 
the dangers encountered in penetrating 
new and wild lands and the physical priva- 
tions endured, even Wesley must yield the 
palm to this tireless apostle. His biograph- 
ers reckon to him 16,500 sermons, 270,000 
miles travelled — mostly on horseback, only 
in his later feeble years with a carriage, 224 
annual Conferences as president, and more 
than 4,000 preachers ordained. Such a 
record will probably remain unique in the 
history of the world. Coke alternated be- 
tween Europe and America — full of ambi- 
tion for the spread of the gospel, and died 
in the Indian Ocean on his way to intro- 
duce Methodist missions in Ceylon, May 2, 
18 14. Asbury laid down his tired body to 

126 The Methodist 

its last sleep in Spottsylvania, Va., March 31, 
1816. His bones lie in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, 

Philip Gatch was perhaps the only min- 
ister whose life has been written by a judge 
of the Supreme Court of the United States 
(See "Sketch of Rev. Philip Gatch," by the 
Hon. John McLean, LL. D., Cincinnati, 1854), 
but no honor was more worthily bestowed. 
Born near Georgetown, Md., in 1751, made 
an exhorter in 1772 after a wonderful conver- 
sion, sanctified by reading one of the Wil- 
liams' printed sermons of Wesley, he was 
sent out — such was the dearth of laborers — 
at the age of nearly twenty-one to travel 
the rough road of a Methodist preacher. In 
Frederick circuit, Maryland, a ruffian was 
about to attack him with the chair at which 
he was kneeling, but was thrown out of 
the house by some of the worshippers. An 
Episcopal minister, Kain, tried to silence 
and confute him, at one of his services, but 
was himself silenced and put to shame by 
the simple, modest but masterly defense of 

Eighteenth Century Heroes 127 

the young preacher. At another time he 
was seized by two men and led to a tavern 
and ordered to drink, but refused, and 
while they were disputing as to what 
should be done to him he escaped. His 
biographer says that "since the days of the 
apostles there had scarcely been a time 
when so much prudence, firmness, endur- 
ing labors, and holiness were required as in 
the propagation of Methodism in America." 
At one of his appointments three of the 
leading citizens threatened him, but were 
finally won, due, as one historian says, to 
his " combined courage, calmness and 
suavity." He was thrown from the door 
of the house where he was to preach, but 
another house was immediately opened. 
He was tarred by a mob on his way to 
preaching, but afterwards saw the leader 
and some of his associates converted. A 
conspiracy was formed to murder him, but 
the plot was revealed and he escaped. This 
part of Maryland was thoroughly demoral- 

128 The Methodists 

ized, as witness the whipping of an ex- 
horter till his shirt was cut to pieces. But 
these brave preachers never faltered; back 
they came in due time to their appoint- 
ments. "I never missed an appointment," 
says Gatch, "from the persecution through 
which I had to pass, or the dangers to 
which I was exposed. I sometimes felt 
great timidity, but in the hour of danger my 
fears always vanished." Through ill-usage 
and exposure, however, his health failed, 
and he had to give up these long itinerat- 
ing journeys. About 1778 he retired on a 
farm in Powhatan County, Va., but con- 
tinued to labor most effectively as a minister 
in all that region. By marriage he came 
into possession of nine slaves, whom he 
emancipated in the following noble words: 
"Know all men by these presents that I, 
Philip Gatch, of Powhatan County, Vir- 
ginia, do believe that all men are by nature 
equally free; and from a clear conviction 
of the injustice of depriving my fellow- 

Eighteenth Century Heroes 129 

creatures of their natural rights, do hereby 
emancipate and set free the following per- 
sons." In October, 1798, he started for 
Miami, Ohio, where he was most useful 
both as a preacher, a judge, and a member 
of state convention, and where he died in 
1835 full of years and honors. His perse- 
cutors are forgotten, but Philip Gatch's 
name shall shine as the brightness of the 
firmament forever. He turned many to 

A companion of Gatch, William Watters, 
entered the work about the same time, and 
continued it with the same devotion and 
fortitude. "I often preached, prayed and 
exhorted, till I was so exhausted that I was 
scarcely able to stand. The flame not only 
spread among sinners, but among pro- 
fessors of religion also and even reached my 
poor heart, so that I could not but bless and 
praise God's holy name that though I was 
deprived of many conveniences, yet he 
made all up unto me, and I was contented 

130 The Methodists 

to sleep in cabins, to eat a dry morsel, and 
frequently to retire in the woods to read, to 
meditate and to pray." Watters was one 
of the noblest characters of the early time, 
and his self-denying labors greatly extended 
the cause. Fortunately he wrote memoirs 
of his life, which have preserved many 
welcome facts. 

Persecution was the daily food of these 
brave men, especially in Maryland. Garret- 
son was imprisoned in one county and 
cruelly beaten in another. In Annapolis 
Forrest and Wren were jailed; in Prince 
George County a preacher was tarred and 
feathered; in Queen Anne Joseph Hartley 
was bound over by ^£500 not to preach in 
the county; and in Talbot he was whipped 
and imprisoned, but still preached through 
the gratings of his window to crowds of 
people, many of whom were converted, 
until he was discharged; in Dorchester 
Pedicord was whipped and scarred for life; 
and in the same county Foster was brought 

Eighteenth Century Heroes 131 

before the court and fined. Well does 
Cooper say in his sermon on Asbury, 
"They spent all — their time, their blood, 
their lives — to win souls to Christ." The 
Episcopal Church was established by law 
in the South, as the battered and bleeding 
Baptists, Quakers and Methodists found to 
their sorrow. 

On account of these adventures the life of 
Freeborn Garretson is a romance, but to its 
fascinating pages the reader must be re- 
ferred. He entered the work in 1775, 
planted Methodism in Nova Scotia in 1785, 
labored in the south and in all the eastern 
states, and never faltered in his self-denying 
labors. In parts of the south he found the 
people virtually heathen, and he left them 
Christianized and civilized. The whole 
aspect of the country was changed. The 
people left off gambling and idleness, and 
began to till their lands and build decent 
houses. The reply of a man whom he 
asked if he knew the Lord Jesus soon be- 

132 The Methodists 

came impossible, " I know not where the 
gentleman lives." Garretson was appointed 
by Wesley in 1787 as superintendent of the 
British dominions in America, but Asbury 
sent him to Maryland again. In 1788 and 
following years he and his brave assistants 
carried the Gospel all through the northern 
New York country, a vast region where it 
has won some notable successes. Garret- 
son is an honorable name in American 
Church History, in the extent of his travels, 
the number of souls he brought into the 
kingdom and of churches he organized. 

Jesse Lee is another great name in these 
foundation years. A native of Prince 
George's County, Virginia, he preached his 
first sermon in 1779, but the next year was 
drafted into the continental army. Like 
many of the early Methodists, the Baptists 
of the Reformation times and others who 
took the ethics of Jesus seriously, he had 
profound objection to war, and refused to 
bear arms, though willing to serve the sol- 

Eighteenth Century Heroes 133 

diers spiritually or in other helpful ways. 
Fortunately his scruples were respected, and 
after a season of useful service he was re- 
leased. In 1783 he was received on trial 
in the ministry and began those labors 
which did so much for Methodism north 
and south. In these annals he is chiefly 
celebrated as the apostle of New England. 
He had a longing to try his Gospel on the 
hearts of the New Englanders, but Asbury 
would not consent, believing the field un- 
favorable. Finally, in 1789, he was sent 
into Connecticut. He began his ministry at 
Norwalk, Conn., June 17, 1789, preaching 
his first sermon under an apple tree at the 
roadside. It was a hard field — this cold, 
critical, Calvinistically indoctrinated New 
England. "I suppose the reason I had so 
many to hear me," said Lee at a later time, 
"was owing to their ministers preaching 
against me two Sabbaths in succession." 
On Sunday evening, July 1 1, 1790, he stood 
upon a table in Boston Common under the 

134 The Methodists 

old elm that fell in the great gale of Febru- 
ary 15, 1876, and began to sing: 

Come, humble sinner, in whose breast 

A thousand thoughts revolve ; 
Come, with your guilt and fears oppressed, 

And make this last resolve : 

I'll go to Jesus, though my sins 
Like mountains round me close ; 

I know his courts, I'll enter in 
Whatever may oppose. 

He gave out as his text, " Ye must be born 
again" (John 3: 7). Thus Methodism- 
well represented by this hymn and text — 
came to Boston town. " I love to break up 
new ground," he said, " and hunt the lost 
souls in New England, though it is hard 
work. But when Christ is with me, hard 
things are made easy, and rough ways 
smooth." After preaching in one place he 
rode on to another, "my soul transported 
with joy, the snow falling, the wind blow- 
ing, prayer ascending, faith increasing, 
grace descending, heaven smiling, and love 

Eighteenth Century Heroes 135 

Lee spent eleven years in New England 
and left that country with fifty preachers 
and 6,000 members. The rest of his life 
was spent in the south as pastor and pre- 
siding elder. In 1807 he published his 
"History of Methodism in America," the 
first work of the kind. He was the first 
Methodist who served as chaplain in Wash- 
ington (House of Representatives, 1812-13, 
Senate, 1814-16). As American born he 
tried to introduce more democratic features 
in Methodist polity, as, for instance, mak- 
ing the presiding elder elective instead of 
being appointed by the bishop, but was 
defeated. He was a man of great force of 
character and nobility of spirit, eloquent, 
with a soul touched by both humor and 
pathos, and he did a work as worthy of 
honor as Asbury. 

It is impossible to speak of other early 
heroes as deserving of mention as the 
above: of Abbott, the flaming evangelist 
of New Jersey and one of the most re- 

136 The Methodists 

markable characters in American Church 
history; of Poythress who bore the stand- 
ard in 1783 across the Alleghanies to the 
Youghiogheny, and who was nominated 
bishop by Asbury in a letter to one of the 
Conferences; of the pathetic and beauliful- 
souled Pedicord, who by singing a hymn 
converted a Revolutionary soldier, Thomas 
Ware, who became a founder of Methodism 
from New Jersey to Tennessee and left in 
his Autobiography an invaluable memorial; 
of Tunnell who with Ware descended upon 
the Holston country in Tennessee in 1789, 
but who like many of the pioneers died 
prematurely worn out by the fatigue and 
exposure of their fearful journeys; of the 
philosophical Gill, who so impressed Dr. 
Rush that that eminent physician used to 
defend the Methodists from the common 
charges of ignorance and fanaticism; of 
young Richard Ivey, who when he was 
preaching before some Revolutionary sol- 
diers who came to terrify and spy him out, 

Eighteenth Century Heroes 137 

said, "Sirs, I would fain show you my 
heart: if it beats not high for legitimate 
liberty may it ever cease to beat," and who 
so won all hearts by the spiritual earnest- 
ness of his sermon that the soldiers swung 
their hats and shouted, " Hurrah for the 
Methodist parson ! " of John Major, the 
"Weeping Prophet," whose wonderful 
pathos could penetrate the steel-clad reserve 
of the most haughty natures; of Henry 
Willis, the beloved, of whom Asbury said 
once when he visited his grave (speaking 
also for his brethren): "Henry Willis! 
Ah! when shall I look upon thy like again! 
Rest, man of God!" of Haggerty, who 
could preach in both English and German; 
of Nelson Reed, little in stature but great in 
spirit, who preached for sixty-five years, 
and who made that courageous answer to 
Bishop Coke when the latter introduced a 
resolution into a Conference which seemed 
despotic, and which was answered by an 
impulsive Irishman Mathews arising and 

138 The Methodists 

shouting, "Popery, Popery, Popery!" but 
was immediately silenced by Coke, who 
however tore up his resolution and looking 
around upon the preachers asked, " Do you 
think yourselves equal to me ? " whereupon 
Reed arose and turning to Bishop Asbury 
said: "Dr. Coke has asked whether we 
think ourselves equal to him; I answer, yes, 
we do think ourselves equal to him, not- 
withstanding that he was educated at Ox- 
ford, and has been honored with the Degree 
of Doctor of Laws; and more than that, we 
think ourselves equal to Dr. Coke's king," — 
a reply which alone ought to keep green 
the name of Nelson Reed forever; of 
Philip Cox, who though he had sometimes 
to preach sitting, spoke with such strange 
power that whole congregations almost 
were converted at a sermon, that persecu- 
tors fell down as though dead, and the "first 
quality of the country, with their silks and 
broadcloths, powdered heads, rings and 
ruffles" could neither speak nor stir; of 

Eighteenth Century Heroes 139 

George Mair, a bright and shining light, 
instant in season and out of season, of 
whom wonderful stories are told, of the 
laborious Bruce, the bold Everett, the Ro- 
man Catholic Moriarty one of the many 
preachers converted from that faith; of 
Hickson whose splendid soul dwell in a 
shattered body, who formed the first class 
in Brooklyn and who wished to be a mis- 
sioner in Nova Scotia but was wisely for- 
bidden by Asbury; of Ellis the "powerful 
reasoner"; of John Easter, the Benjamin 
Abbott of the south, called "this awful 
messenger of truth," under whom bishops 
McKendree and George were converted; 
and of many others whose names are in the 
Book of Life. In the early annals of Meth- 
odism, in Asbury s Journal, in Lee and 
Ware, in Garretson and Watters, in the 
later historians Lednum and Wakeley and 
Atkinson, and in Stevens s larger work, the 
reader will lind their fascinating story, or 
briefly in the brilliant address of Professor 

140 The Methodists 

Little on the "Methodist Pioneers and their 
work" (Methodist Centennial Conference, 
pp. 214-226), with its penetrating and il- 
luminating characterizations. No romance, 
no history, no book of adventures, is more 

Constitit, et lacrimaus, Quis jam locus, inquit, Achate, 
Qua regio in terris nostri non plena laboris ? 

— Vergil, Aen. i, 459, 46a. 



Asbury lived long enough to see Method- 
ism distributed into nine Conferences: New 
York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Virginia, 
South Carolina, Tennessee, New England, 
Genesee, and Ohio. Since that she has 
gone into every state in the union, keeping 
pace with the marvellous growth of the 
nation. No lonely pioneer camp-fire was 
too far west for the circuit rider, who an- 
ticipated the farthest settlement, and, be- 
yond railroads, beyond wagon roads, fol- 
lowed Indian trails or streams, forded or 
swam bridgeless rivers, awoke the echoes 
of pathless forests, and disturbed the pri- 
meval solitudes where wolf and bear held 
sway. It is the aim of this chapter to tell a 
few facts of this nineteenth century de- 

142 The Methodists 

velopment, sometimes in the very words of 
the pioneers. 

" I have often ridden," says John Kobler, 
who went through Ohio in 1798, "fifteen 
or twenty miles through the woods where 
no one lived, the people having fled from 
danger; and I rode alone, for I never had 
any guard but the angels. The houses 
were very small, often with only one room 
and fireplace, around which the whole 
family — children, dogs and all — crowd and 
seem to claim the same privileges or pos- 
sess equal rights." For private devotion 
the woods were an excellent place where 
also, seated on an old log, with Bible and 
hymn book and some of Wesley's books, 
sermons were composed, which on return- 
ing to the house were preached with 

Henry Smith, who rode the Scioto circuit 
in 1799, would ride for miles, then find a 
solitary cabin, call the family together, tell 
them his business, talk to them on religious 

Territorial Expansion 143 

matters, pray with and for them, "give 
them a short exhortation, and leave them all 
in tears," and thus make the beginning of a 
Church, a circuit, a Conference, a College. 
In travelling near Cadiz, Ohio, James B. 
Finley had a commonplace experience 
which is typical of many. He found a 
habitation in the woods and the family at 
their evening meal. "They occupied one 
side of the fireplace, and a calf occupied the 
other. I was invited to join the evening 
meal, which I did with a good relish, as I 
had eaten nothing during the day. After 
supper was ended I asked the old gentle- 
man in regard to his nativity, his religious 
profession, etc. On his informing me that 
he was a Roman Catholic I inquired how 
he got along without his confession. At 
this he became visibly agitated, and in- 
formed me that he had not seen a priest for 
years, and that he was laying up money to 
go to Pittsburg to obtain absolution. I 
then asked him if he had experienced the 

144 The Methodists 

new birth, or if he had been born again. 
To this question he seemed unable to give 
an answer, and manifested still more un- 
easiness. He asked me what I meant ; for 
said he, ' I am now seventy years old, and 
I never heard such a thing in my life.' Be- 
coming alarmed he called his son John. I 
told him he need not be excited as I would 
do him no harm. He then asked me if I 
was a minister. I told him 1 tried to speak 
to the people, and teach them the way of 
salvation by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. 
The whole family seemed alarmed at the 
conversation; but I spoke kindly to them, 
and after their fears were somewhat 
quieted, I took out my Bible, and reading a 
part of the third chapter of John, I spent an 
hour in explaining to them the nature and 
necessity of the new birth. The family 
listened to what I said with the most pro- 
found attention, and silence was only in- 
terrupted by their sighs and tears. After 
prayer we all retired to rest for the night. 

Territorial Expansion 145 

" In the morning previous to leaving the 
old gentleman invited me to preach to the 
neighborhood when I came round again, 
which I promised to do, enjoining on him 
and his family the necessity of prayer to 
God. Nothing worthy of peculiar note oc- 
curred till I returned to this house I found 
at the time appointed a large collection of 
people, and preached to them salvation in 
the name of Jesus. The Lord attended his 
word with power; many were awakened, 
and a good work began," of which this 
family were leaders. 

That is an instance of ordinary methods 
of pioneer work. Here is another of a 
camp or open air meeting, an institution 
which played a great part in the evangeliza- 
tion of the middle West in the last part of 
the eighteenth and first half of the nine- 
teenth century. Meeting-houses were too 
small, and the crowds assembled in the 
open air. " I commenced reading a hymn," 
says William Burke, "and by the time we 

146 The Methodists 

concluded singing and praying we had 
around us standing on their feet by fair 
calculation, ten thousand people. I gave 
out my text: For we must all stand before 
the judgment-seat of Christ; and before 
I concluded my voice was not to be heard 
for the groans of the distressed and the 
shouts of triumph. Hundreds fell pros- 
trate on the ground, and the work con- 
tinued on that spot till Wednesday after- 
noon. It was estimated by some that not 
less than five hundred were at one time 
lying on the ground in the deepest agonies 
of distress, and every few minutes arising 
in shouts of triumph. Towards the even- 
ing I pitched the only tent on the ground. 
Having been accustomed to travel in the 
wilderness 1 soon had a tent made out 
of poles and pawpaw bushes. Here I re- 
mained Sunday and Monday; and during 
that time there was not a single moment's 
cessation, but the work went on, and old 
and young— men, women and children— 

Territorial Expansion 147 

were converted to God. It was estimated 
that on Sunday and Sunday night there 
were 20,000 people on the ground. They 
had come far and near, from all parts of 
Kentucky; some from Tennessee, and from 
north of the Ohio River; so that tidings of 
Cane Ridge meeting were carried to almost 
every corner of the country and the holy 
fire spread in all directions." See the ad- 
mirable " H^tory of Ohio Methodism," by 
John Marshall Barker, Ph. D. ( Cincinnati 
and New York, 1898. It is only as we re- 
member such scenes as these that we can 
account for the rapid spread of Methodism. 
In one of these meetings while Bishop 
McKendree was preaching the power of 
God came upon the congregation so that he 
sank overcome in the arms of Burke sitting 
behind him. '■ I instantly raised him to his 
feet, and the congregation said his face 
beamed with glory. He shouted out the 
praise of God, and it appeared like an elec- 
tric shock to the congregation. Many fell 

148 The Methodists 

to the floor like men slain on the field of 
battle. The meeting continued till late in 
the afternoon, and witnesses were raised 
up to declare that God had power on earth 
to forgive sin, and to cleanse from all un- 
righteousness. From this meeting the 
work went on with astonishing power: 
hundreds were converted to God." 

Peter Cartwright describes the customs of 

the Methodists as he saw them in Ohio and 

elsewhere in 1804. "We had no pewed 

churches, no choirs, no organs; in a word 

we had no instrumental music in our 

churches anywhere. The Methodists in 

that early day dressed plain ; attended their 

meetings faithfully, especially preaching, 

prayer, and class meetings— they wore no 

jewelry, no ruffles; they would frequently 

walk three or four miles to class meetings, 

and home again on Sundays; they would 

go thirty or forty miles to their quarterly 

meetings, and think it a glorious privilege 

to meet their presiding elder, and the rest 

Territorial Expansion 149 

of their preachers. They could, nearly 
every soul of them, sing our hymns and 
spiritual songs. They religiously kept the 
Sabbath-day; many of them abstained from 
dram-drinking, not because the temper- 
ance reformation was ever heard of in that 
day, but because it was interdicted in 
the General Rule of our Discipline. The 
Methodists of that day stood up and faced 
their preacher when they sang; they 
kneeled down in the public congregation as 
well as elsewhere when the preacher said, 
Let us pray. There was no standing in 
time of prayer. They generally fasted once 
a week, and almost universally on the 
Friday before each quarterly meeting." 
Like Catholic monks the pioneer Methodist 
preachers took virtually the vows of pov- 
erty and obedience, though not of celibacy. 
Cincinnati, first permanently settled in 
1788, heard its first Methodist sermon from 
John Collins, a local preacher and farmer, 
in 1804, and when John Sale, the first regu- 

150 The Methodists 

lar minister, came there in the same year 
he found a class of eight persons. The 
first love-feast was had in the log court- 
house in 1805, and the first church was 
built on the northwest corner of Fifth Street 
and Broadway, at that time open fields, in 
1806. The celebrated Wesley chapel took 
the place of this little old stone church in 

Preachers had visited Indiana from Ohio 
and Kentucky as early as 1800. The first 
pastoral charge was Silver Creek, opposite 
the falls of the Ohio, 1807, in which year 
also the first church was built. McKendree 
preached in Clark County in 1803, and the 
first camp-meeting was in 1806 or '07. It 
was not till 1832 that the first separate Con- 
ference (the Indiana) was formed within the 
state. This was divided into two confer- 
ences in 1844 by the boundary of the great 
national road. 

The French settled in Illinois in 1682, but 
it was not till about 1780 that the Americans 

Territorial Expansion 151 

came up from the South over the Ohio. 
The country north of the line drawn from 
Peru to Indiana remained vacant till 1835 
when settlers began to pour in from the 
East, — New York and New England. The 
first class was formed in St. Clair County in 
1793, with Captain Joseph Ogle as leader. 
The first mention of Illinois on the Minutes 
is in 1803, and this appointment of "Illinois" 
continued the only one mentioned till 18 15. 
In 1824 the Illinois Conference, consisting of 
Illinois and Indiana, was set off. There 
were nine appointments in Illinois. In 1830 
there were thirty circuits. The first Confer- 
ence on Illinois territory was held at Shiloh, 
St. Clair County, in 1820, and the second at 
Padfield's on Looking Glass Prairie, Octo- 
ber 23, 1824. Earnest efforts were made to 
Christianize the Pottawatomie Indians at 
this early time under the heroic labors of 
Jesse Walker, who was also the first to in- 
troduce Methodism into Chicago in 1830 — 
then a year old hamlet of half a dozen 

152 The Methodists 

houses. The first Methodist work with the 
white settlers in what is now the Rock 
River Conference was at Galena in 1828. 

The year after the first steamboat reached 
St. Louis, Jesse Walker, the veteran pioneer, 
rode into that city ' « to take St. Louis " ( 1 8 1 8). 
Some members of the Legislature who had 
known him before expostulated with him, 
as they said the people were all Catholics or 
infidels, and that he could do nothing. " I 
have come in the name of Christ to take St. 
Louis," said Walker, "and by the grace of 
God I will do it." He hired a room, began 
services, organized a free school for the in- 
struction of the children of the poor, and at 
the end of the year had a church building, a 
school, and sixty Church members. In 1820 
Isaac N. Piggott was appointed, and in 182 1 
St. Louis circuit was organized, which re- 
ported eighty-seven members in 1822. Mis- 
souri as a border state was a scene of in- 
tense feeling on the slavery question, and 
after the organization of the Methodist Epis- 

Territorial Expansion 153 

copalChurch, South, ministers of the Method- 
ist Episcopal Church in Missouri, Arkansas 
and states to the south, though not active as 
anti-slavery reformers, were frequently ill 
treated, mobbed, tarred and feathered, ex- 
pelled, or murdered. The most notable 
case of this latter was the martyrdom of the 
Rev. Antony Bewley (born in Tennessee 
1804. admitted to Holston Conference in 
1829, into the Missouri in 1843) at Fort 
Worth, Texas, September 13, i860. Full 
details of this and all other persecutions, 
with the orginal documents and copious 
extracts from contemporary sources, are 
given in Dr. Charles Elliotts "Southwestern 
Methodism, a History of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church in the Southwest from 
1844 to 1864" (Cincinnati 1868). 

In 1804 Nathan Bangs visited Detroit and 
met with no success. The inhabitants were 
mostly French Catholics. Only a few 
children came to the service He "shook 
off the dust of his feet against them, and 

154 The Methodists 

took his departure. In about four weeks 
from this the town was consumed by fire." 
Later Protestant settlers moved in. In 1823 
Alfred Brunson was stationed in Detroit cir- 
cuit which included 400 miles of country. 
Over this vast tract Brunson and his col- 
league, Samuel Baker, went every month, 
giving the people fortnightly services. In 
1824 there were 161 members. 

The Rev. P. S. Bennett turned up every 
stone in his search for information for his 
" History of Methodism in Wisconsin," Cin- 
cinnati 1890, and he has shown that the 
first religious service conducted by a Protes- 
tant within the present limits of Wisconsin 
was by Dr. Jedediah Morse, father of the 
famous J. S. B. Morse, who was sent by 
the government on business connected with 
the Indians, and preached at Green Bay in 
1820. The first religious service conducted 
by a Methodist was by Colonel Ryan at Fort 
Howard in 1826; the first sermon by a Meth- 
odist preacher was by John Dew near Gra- 

Territorial Expansion 155 

tiot's Grove in the latter part of 1828; the 
second and the first class-meeting were at 
Platteville in 1832, the same year in which 
John Clark preached the first sermon, organ- 
ized the first class in what is now Wiscon- 
sin Conference; and that John T Mitchell 
was the first to organize societies and build 
a church in 1833-4. The first Methodist 
sermon preached in Milwaukee was by M. 
Robinson in 1835, where a class was formed 
in 1836. Farther and farther west and north 
the pioneers pressed. "With our horses 
hitched to a tree," says one of them, "our 
feet to the fire, the earth for our bed, and 
the heavens for our house, we slept, without 
fear of being robbed by tramps. Though 
the woods were alive with wolves or other 
animals, they did not disturb us." One of 
the Wisconsin pioneers just mentioned, 
John Clark, went as a missionary to Texas 
in 1 84 1, travelling in a wagon with his wife 
and son a thousand miles. After valiant 
service there, he was transferred to Troy 

156 The Methodists 

conference, then to Rock River, and while 
pastor of Clark Street Church, Chicago, in 
1852, he had the honor of suggesting the 
establishment of one of the most useful in- 
stitutions in the country — Garrett Biblical 
Institute, Evanston, Illinois — to his parish- 
ioner, Mrs. Eliza Garrett, who came to him 
to ask his advice in regard to some benevo- 
lent project which she had in mind. The 
godly and devoted Clark died of cholera in 
July, 1854. 

The apostle of Minnesota was Joseph 
Hurlburt, whom the Rock River Conference 
sent in 1844 to the St. Croix mission, which 
included all the settlements of the Missis- 
sippi and its tributaries above Lake Pepin. 
He preached at Fort Snelling, Red Rock, 
Stillwater, Marine, Osceola, and St. Croix 
Falls, until the spring of 1846, toiling 
through snows and storms and frozen 
streams, in loneliness and want and peril. 
Jonathan W Putnam succeeded him and 
added Point Douglas and St. Anthony Falls. 

Territorial Expansion 157 

St. Paul was laid out in 1847, and Putnam 
preached there a few times that year. In 
1848 Benjamin Close, Putnam's successor, 
organized the first Protestant Church in St. 
Paul. In 1849 Chauncey Hobart, one of the 
most important organizers of Methodism in 
Minnesota, built the first Church in St. Paul, 
and in 1856 the Minnesota Conference was 
organized. No state has had more self- 
sacrificing laborers than the men who saved 
Minnesota to Christianity, who forded and 
swam rivers, and walked for fifteen miles 
from appointment to appointment through 
trackless woods, regaled by the jackal's 
scream or the wolf's howl or the bear's 
growl, or through untrodden prairies 
with the grass five feet high. 

Westward, then, the course of Methodism 
took its way. Kansas was entered in 1830, 
first among the Indians and then the whites, 
and the first Conference was organized in 
1856. Gold was discovered in Colorado in 
1859, and on the heels of the first miners 

158 The Methodists 

W H. Goode was sent to organize a Church. 
The Rocky Mountain District was formed 
in i860. In 1870 Lewis Hartsough brought 
the Gospel of Christian manogamy to 
Utah. In i860 Dakota was entered, and in 
1876 the Montana Conference was organ- 
ized. Long before that, Jason and Daniel 
Lee had made a long and perilous journey 
to Oregon (in 1834), in response to that 
celebrated embassy in 1832 of two Indian 
chiefs from Oregon to St. Louis, asking for 
some one to come and teach them the 
white man's Book and the white man's 
God. In 1836 and 1839 others were sent to 
help the Lees, and in a few years (1848) an 
annual Conference was organized for Ore- 
gon and Washington. The romantic 
story of Methodism in California would 
itself take a volume: how William Roberts 
of the New Jersey Conference and James 
H. Wilbur of the Rock River Conference 
were sent to help Oregon, but established a 
class in San Francisco on their way, April, 

Territorial Expansion 159 

1847; how this was strengthened by immi- 
grant local preacher Elihu Anthony forming 
classes in San Jose and Santa Cruz in the 
fall of 1847, and how Isaac Owen and Wil- 
liam Taylor sent by the general Conference 
of 1848 did their wonderful work. Taylor's 
story of his adventures there as told in his 
" Seven Years' Street Preaching in San Fran- 
cisco," N. Y., 1857, and in his "Story of 
My Life," New York, 1895, is one of the 
romances of Church history. 



It has been the fortune (or misfortune) of 
Methodism, in failing to conciliate her chil- 
dren by tempering the excessive clericalism 
and arbitrariness which were elements of her 
constitution, to provoke independent or 
separating movements, some of which have 
grown into large denominations. No doubt 
God has used this to advance his glory, for 
these daughter Churches have had a won- 
derful success in evangelism and other forms 
of Christian activity, but they have weak- 
ened the parent body by dividing or dissi- 
pating aggressive or conserving forces. 
Besides, ill-feelings and heart-burnings have 
resulted, and some souls thereby have doubt- 
less been lost to Christianity. 
1 60 

A Mother of Churches 161 

Passing over the history of Methodism in 
England the first separation in America took 
place on account of the refusal of the Con- 
ference of 1792 to adopt a resolution of 
James O'Kelly that "after the bishop ap- 
points the preachers at Conference to their 
several circuits, if any one think himself in- 
jured by the appointment, he shall have 
liberty to appeal to the Conference and state 
his objections; and if the conference ap- 
prove his objections, the bishop shall ap- 
point to another circuit." O'Kelly was one 
of the most earnest and consecrated of the 
preachers, but he inherited an Irish love of 
freedom, and desired a constitutional check 
to the absolute power of the bishop. Some 
of the ablest of the ministers agreed with 
him — Freeborn Garretson among others, 
but the majority thought that the proposed 
plan would be inconsistent with Wesley's 
idea, and that it would be impracticable, and 
therefore voted it down. It was a principle 
which O'Kelly could not give up, and he 

162 The Methodists 

therefore left the Conference, taking with 
him many laymen and ministers. These 
later united with others who did not believe 
in sectarian names, and formed the Chris- 
tian Church or Christian Connection (to be 
distinguished from the Disciples of Christ), 
which in 1902 had 1,151 ministers and 
97,207 churches. It has been charged by 
some that O' Kelly was heretical, but this is 
a mistake. His long and consecrated life 
both before and after 1792, the form he used 
in ordaining, the belief of the Christian 
Connection in Christ and atonement, and 
other evidence, should have saved him from 
this charge. As to the merits of his conten- 
tion, it is evident that it is inconsistent with 
that military organization which Wesley 
stamped on Methodism and which has 
always been one of the chief reasons for its 
effectiveness. On the other hand a com- 
promise might have been adopted. 

Not only the episcopal organization of the 
Church, but the refusal of all governmental 

A Mother of Churches 163 

rights to laymen, had almost from the first 
been causes of offense. The adoption of a 
republican constitution in 1789 by the 
states, as well as actual experience in self- 
government, had accustomed the minds of 
men to democratic ideas, in the face of 
which the clerical and absolutist polity of 
Methodism seemed both an anachronism 
and a personal grievance. Besides, the 
work for representative government by the 
most statesmanlike mind of English Meth- 
odism after Wesley, Alexander Kilham, 
could not help but influence America. It is 
impossible to give the history of that great 
agitation here. Suffice it to say that after 
numerous rejected appeals a union society 
was founded in Baltimore in 1824 for the 
purpose of influencing Church opinion in 
favor of lay delegation. A periodical was 
also founded for the same purpose — "The 
Mutual Rights of Ministers and Members of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church (1824-8), 
an invaluable source, the files of which are 

164 The Methodists 

in the library of Drew Theological Seminary. 
A strong effort was made at the General 
Conference of 1828 to obtain rights for lay- 
men. This was refused. As the friends of 
the movement did not desist in their agita- 
tion, many were expelled. Others left out 
of sympathy. These met in Baltimore, 
November 12, 1828, and formed a pro- 
visional Church organization. On Novem- 
ber 2, 1830, a much larger and more repre- 
sentative gathering consisting of clerical 
and lay delegates from many states assem- 
bled in the same city, — adopted a constitution 
and book of discipline, and thus started the 
Methodist Protestant Church, which has 
had a great and noble part in the Christian 
history of America. This Church divided 
on slavery in 1858, but both parts came 
together in 1877. It has made a recent 
notable achievement in historiography in 
the most thorough discussion ever given of 
the internal conflicts in Methodism, — the 
" History of Methodist Reform and of the 

A Mother of Churches 165 

Methodist Protestant Church," by the late 
Edward J. Drinkhouse, M. D., D. D. (Bal- 
timore, 1899, 2 volumes), which, though 
written with a bias for the reformers, em- 
bodies the results of immense research. 

From the point of view of an anti-slavery 
reformer the position of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church on the subject after the 
first few years of its existence, especially 
after 1800, must be considered disappoint- 
ing and untenable. There had not only 
been a constant recession in testimony, but 
active participation in anti-slavery meas- 
ures, or even the holding of pronounced 
views on freedom, on the part of ministers, 
made them liable to the loss of reputation 
and standing or even to discipline. North- 
ern Conferences frequently passed resolu- 
tions condemning abolition and ministers 
who in any way connected themselves 
with anti-slavery movements. Matlack 
was denied admission to Conference be- 
cause of his views on slavery, and Charles 

166 The Methodists 

K. True, James Floy and Paul R. Brown of 
the New York Conference, were tried 
and suspended for alleged aiding in the cir- 
culation of an anti-slavery tract (was it one 
of Wesley's ?), and attending an anti-slavery 
convention. These and other measures 
aroused the freedom men of the church, 
and they held conventions, — at Cazenovia, 
Utica, Lowell, etc., 1838. LeRoy Sunder- 
land, Elihu Scott and Lucius C. Matlack 
were active for reform. Feeling ran high. 
Men were judicially tried by their confer- 
ences. Finally finding that they could have 
no place in the old Church, many of the 
earnest anti-slavery advocates withdrew and 
in a convention at Utica, May 31, 1843, or_ 
ganized the Wesleyan Methodist Connection 
of America. The idea was to restore the 
primitive organization and ideals of Meth- 
odism. The episcopate, and even the itiner- 
ary as a formal hard-and-fast rule, were 
abolished; laymen were introduced into 
Church councils and connection with either 

A Mother of Churches 167 

slavery or secret-societies was made an in- 
dictable offense. 

The next division was on a much more 
portentous scale, being no less than the " bi- 
section," as Dr. Buckley well calls it, of the 
whole Church on the question of slavery. 
Methodism originally, as we have seen, 
took strong ground against slavery, and if 
that ground had always been maintained 
either Methodism or slavery would have 
been destroyed in the South. Both could 
not have existed side by side. Coke him- 
self, however, was early taught that slavery 
was the stronger power. When he preached 
simple " Gospel " sermons he was hailed as 
a messenger from heaven, but when he bore 
down on the evils of slavery he was met 
with execrations. In some places members 
withdrew. " While he was preaching in 
a barn in Virginia the subject was intro- 
duced; much provocation was felt by some 
of the congregation, who withdrew and 
prepared to offer him personal violence, 

168 The Methodists 

stimulated by a fashionable lady who offered 
the mob fifty pounds in case they would seize 
the preacher and give him one hundred 
lashes. On leaving the house he was in- 
stantly surrounded by a ferocious party, 
who were proceeding to put their threats 
into execution, but he was rescued by a 
magistrate and escaped in safety." Morally 
the argument of the hundred lashes was not 
effective, but practically it was tremen- 
dously so, as it meant that the Church must 
not interfere with the institution in the 
South. And she did not. Resolutions were 
passed speaking of slavery as an evil, and 
it was understood that ministers should not 
hold slaves, but the Methodist Church had 
some of her greatest triumphs in the South. 
Slave holders were her office bearers every- 
where and her cordial supporters by prayer 
and purse. A northern convention in 1843 
declared that "from a careful collation of 
documentary evidence with other well- 
attested facts, there are within the Meth- 

A Mother of Churches 169 

odist Episcopal Church 200 travelling min- 
isters holding 1,600 slaves; about 1,000 
local preachers holding 10,000; and about 
25,000 members holding 207,900 more." 

Sentiment in the north was rapidly crys- 
tallizing, however, accounted for partly by 
the ordinary progress of humane sentiment 
under Christianity, partly by the influence 
of Canada and England, partly by increased 
knowledge of actual slave conditions, and 
partly by the aggressiveness of the slave 
power in Church and state. When there- 
fore Bishop James O. Andrew became by 
marriage the owner of slaves it was felt that 
his usefulness in the north, where his duties 
would naturally take him, would be so com- 
promised that it would be inexpedient for 
him to exercise his function as bishop. The 
matter came up in the General Conference 
in 1844, when the following conservative 
resolution, offered byj. B. Finley and J. M. 
Trimble, was passed by a vote of 111 
against sixty-nine after one of the most im- 

170 The Methodists 

portant and able debates ever held in an 
ecclesiastical assembly. 

"Whereas, the Discipline forbids the 
doing anything calculated to destroy our 
itinerant general superintendency; and 
whereas Bishop Andrew has become con- 
nected with slavery by marriage and other- 
wise, and this act having drawn after it 
circumstances which, in the estimation of 
the General Conference, will greatly embar- 
rass the exercise of his office as an itinerant 
general superintendent, if not in some 
places entirely prevent it; therefore 

"Resolved, that it is the sense of this 
General Conference that he desist from the 
exercise of this office so long as this im- 
pediment continues." 

This led to the organization of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church, South, in a con- 
vention held in Louisville in May, 1845, for 
which the way had been paved by a Plan 
of Separation adopted by the General Con- 
ference of 1844. The Church, South, is not 

A Mother of Churches 171 

a secession, not a schism, not a new Church 
in the ordinary sense, but it is the successor 
by mutual consent of the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church in the South as to its pro-slavery 
elements, which always had a recognized 
place; while the Methodist Episcopal Church 
still remains north and south in exactly the 
same position as before, except as to the 
session of Conferences and property in the 
south. To the historian the two are in a 
sense sister Churches of equal age and 
honor. The Church South is more liberal 
in its treatment of laymen, admitting them 
(since 1866) not only in the General Con- 
ference in equal numbers with ministers, 
but in the Annual Conferences — four from 
each district. It also sought a more Scrip- 
tural basis in its terms of membership, abol- 
ishing the long and arbitrary probation limit 
of six months. 

Centralization of government and excess- 
ive clerical influence, which were of old 
points of stumbling, led to the formation 

172 The Methodists 

of a new church in Georgia in 1852 called 
the Congregational Methodist Church, and 
the movement spread to other states in the 
South. Another movement of the same 
kind led to similar results in 1881. Some 
of these churches, however, have been ab- 
sorbed by the Congregationalists, who are 
now making overtures of union to the 
Protestant Methodists and others. In 1900 
the Independent Methodist Church, which 
has now several congregations, was organ- 
ized in Newark, New Jersey, by Charles 
F Nettleship, and independent Methodist 
churches have been organized in Baltimore 
and other cities. The Primitive Methodist 
Church is not an offshoot of any American 
body, but was formed by immigrants from 
England who brought with them their own 
church of that name, which was started in 
18 10 by the godly Hugh Bourne, William 
Clowes and others, whose primitive Meth- 
odist zeal made them obnoxious to the par- 
ent church. 

A Mother of Churches 173 

The only church that has sprung out of 
Methodist ground in America by reason of 
dissatisfaction with the worldliness of the 
church and with its abandonment of the 
heroic ideals of the elder time, is the Free 
Methodist Church, which was organized in 
Pekin, New York, in i860. It was the out- 
growth of a profound agitation in Western 
New York in the fifth and sixth decades of 
the nineteenth century, and was occasioned 
by the alleged lapse of the Church from its 
primitive testimony, (1) as to slavery, (2) 
as to holiness, (3) as to non-conformity 
with the world, and (4) as to evangelical 
conception of doctrine. As to concrete 
manifestations, it was said that not only 
were many ministers of the Genesee Con- 
ference members of secret societies whose 
vows and spirit were not in conformity 
with Christianity, but that some of these 
members had formed a union for the con- 
trol of the Conference' and for the destruc- 
tion of the influence of those who stood 

174 The Methodists 

for old-fashioned Methodism, and that the 
teachings of this powerful coterie (the 
"regency") as represented in their organ, 
the Buffalo Christian Advocate, were lib- 
eral to the verge of Unitarianism. An 
article setting forth these alleged facts 
written by the Rev. Benjamin Titus Rob- 
erts, M. A., in the Northern Independent 
in 1856, was the occasion of a prosecution 
which had widespread results. Roberts 
and others of the oldest and zealous and 
hitherto irreproachable members of the Con- 
ference were expelled, others were trans- 
ferred to the far west, thousands of laymen 
were incensed at the proceedings, and the 
result was a new church. The Free Meth- 
odist Church retains a modified system of 
superintendency, and differs from the pres- 
ent body rather in emphasis than in essen- 
tials. It bans membership in secret socie- 
ties, the use of tobacco, the wearing of 
jewelry, superfluity of dress, and seeks to 
make the old Methodist testimony as to 

A Mother of Churches 175 

holiness still a living thing in teaching and 
in practice. 

Methodism has had an immense vogue 
with the colored people, to whom its spon- 
taneity and earnestness make special ap- 
peal. At first the colored were in the 
church, but on account of being thrust 
away in the gallery, or on account of the 
limited use of their services and talents, 
they believed that they could do more if in- 
dependent. The first movement of this 
kind was in Wilmington, Delaware, where 
the Rev. Peter Spencer (colored) organized 
in 1813 the Union American Methodist 
Episcopal Church. The next was in Phila- 
delphia where the Rev. Richard Allen or- 
ganized in 18 16, the African Methodist 
Episcopal Church. As far back as 1787 
Allen had been a leader of a class of forty 
persons of his own color, and he erected a 
church for colored Methodists in 1794, — the 
first building of the kind in the world. 
The African Union Methodist Protestant 

176 The Methodists 

Church came on the scene in 1816, differing 
from the last named church in regard to 
episcopacy, a paid ministry, and the itiner- 
ancy. The African Methodist Episcopal 
Zion Church goes back to 1796, when some 
colored Methodists in New York formed a 
separate congregation in order that they 
"might have an opportunity to exercise 
their spiritual gifts among themselves, and 
thereby be more useful to one another." 
They built a church, dedicated in 1800, 
which was to receive its ministers from the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, though it had 
preachers of its own who supplied its pul- 
pit in part. In 1820 this arrangement gave 
way to a formal church organization, the 
first annual Conference meeting in 1821. 
It makes large use of laymen both in the 
annual and general conferences, elects pre- 
siding elders on the nomination of bishops, 
and employs women as preachers. The 
Colored Methodist Episcopal Church was 
organized in 1870 by the colored members 

A Mother of Churches 177 

and ministers of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South. The Evangelist Missionary 
Church is an organization of colored people 
formed in Ohio, in 1886, as a protest against 
some of the principles of the African 
Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. It has 
no creed but the Bible, and is inclined to 
Swedenborgian denial of three Persons in 
Godhead, holding that in Jesus Christ 
dwells all the Godhead bodily. There are 
also Congregational Colored Methodists. 

Two other churches, though not in the 
Methodist succession in the same sense as 
those mentioned in this chapter, are Meth- 
odists in doctrine and polity. One is the 
United Brethren in Christ, founded in 1800 
by Philip William Otterbein of the German 
Reformed Church and Martin Boehn of the 
Mennonite Church, as the result of an ear- 
nest revival movement among the Germans 
especially in Pennsylvania and Maryland. 
The other is the Evangelical Association, 
founded by a Lutheran, Jacob Albright, in 

178 The Methodists 

1807 (first conference). Albright was the 
German Wesley of Pennsylvania. Both of 
these churches — especially the latter — have 
extensive and prosperous missions in Ger- 



The oldest British Colony, Newfound- 
land, discovered by Cabot in 1497, formally 
taken possession of by Gilbert in the name 
of Queen Elizabeth in 1583, and which had 
regular fisheries as early as 1502, received 
the first Methodist preacher who ever sat 
foot in the new world. Lawrence Cough- 
lin, who had for ten years been preaching 
under Wesley, came out to Newfoundland 
in 1765, labored zealously for some years, 
and though he was employed by the 
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel 
in Foreign Parts, enrolled his societies as 
Methodist classes. It was not till 1785 that 
Newfoundland was placed on the minutes, 
when John McGeary was appointed regular 
preacher. In 1791 the apostolic William 

180 The Methodists 

Black went through the island, and saw 
Pentecostal scenes of revival. When for- 
eign missionary zeal awakened in the 
British Conference, 1815, and later, several 
men were sent out, among others Richard 
Knight and George Cubitt, "each one a 
host in himself." It was a hard and dreary 
field, but the itinerants by self-sacrificing 
toil built up a strong Church. 

The first part of the present Dominion of 
Canada to be systematically evangelized by 
a Methodist was Nova Scotia, and its apostle 
was William Black. He was of a York- 
shire family who came out in 1775 to take 
the farms vacated by the French Acadians 
exiled in 1755. These Yorkshiremen were 
Methodists, and they began meetings in 
their new home. Young Black was con- 
victed of sin. " My distress was great. I 
thought if I were in hell, I could not be 
more miserable. All the time I felt an 
awful sense of God and of my lost con- 
dition. At Mr. Oxley's we continued pray- 

Canada 181 

ing about two hours, when it pleased the 
Lord to reveal his ability and willingness to 
save me. I could cast my soul on him and 
say, I am thine and thou art mine. While 
our friends were singing, 

" ' Thy pardon I claim, 

For a sinner I am 

A sinner believing in Jesus' name,' 

I could claim my interest in his blood, lay 
fast hold of the hope set before me. The 
Lord has my righteousness. Instantly my 
burden dropped off — my guilt was washed 
away, condemnation was removed, sweet 
peace and gladness were diffused through 
my soul. Mourning was turned into joy. 
My countenance told of deliverance. All 
my song was 

" « Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.' " 

This may be taken as a typical conversion. 

On November 10, 1781, Black started on 

an evangelistic tour through the province. 

He first struck the towns between Amherst 

182 The Methodists 

and the Peticodiac, then headed his way to 
Cornwallis, where the Baptists opened their 
pulpit, May 26, 1782. His first text was the 
first used by Asbury in America: "For I 
determined not to know anything among 
you save Jesus Christ and him crucified," 
and the second was the "Little Gospel" 
(John y. 16). On June 4th he introduced 
Methodism in Horton (Grand Pre), where 
many cried for mercy and others shouted 
for joy. On June 5th he did the same for 
Windsor, where John Smith, whose numer- 
ous descendants are still living in the 
vicinity, and who had been a precentor for 
Wesley in Yorkshire, was his first class 
leader. Then he pushed on to Halifax, 
where he met complete indifference to 
religion, and on June 16th was in Windsor 
again. This town was good soil, — the first 
organized Methodist society in Eastern 
Canada. And thus William Black pushed 
on from village to village, through forests 
and across bays and channels, bringing the 

Canada 183 

message of the Gospel to neglected peo- 

The Christmas Conference of 1784 sent 
Freeborn Garrettson to Nova Scotia. He ar- 
rived early in 1785, and did most effective 
service. " He visited all parts of the prov- 
ince; traversing mountains and villages, 
frequently on foot, with knapsack on his 
back ; threading Indian paths up and down 
through the wilderness; wading through 
morasses of wood and water; satisfying 
hunger and thirst from knapsack and brook 
by the way, while at night he had some- 
times to rest his weary limbs on a bed of 
forest leaves." In 1785 Nova Scotia (in- 
cluding what is now New Brunswick) was 
entered on the Minutes, and in 1786 the 
first Conference was held in Halifax, with 
Black, Garrettson, Cromwell, the two 
Manns, and Grandine present. In 1789 
Nova Scotia was dropped from the English 
minutes and placed on the American; and 
in Philadelphia in that year Black was or- 

184 The Methodists 

dained by Coke and Asbury and appointed 
superintendent of Nova Scotia and New- 
foundland, — not the first bishop in Canada, 
as Inglis had been ordained in London two 
years before. In 1791 the American minutes 
gave the following appointments : William 
Black (presiding) elder; Halifax: William 
Jessop, John Mann; Liverpool: Thomas 
Whitehead; Shelburne: William Early; 
Cumberland: Benjamin Fiddler; Newport: 
John Cooper; St. John: John Ragan; An- 
napolis: James Boyd. But the stay of these 
preachers was short. Loyalist feeling was 
too strong, and missionary resources too 
weak. After 1799 England supplied the 
maritime provinces with preachers, which 
thus became connected with the Wesleyan 
Methodism of the old country. 

In 1783 what is now St. John, New 
Brunswick, was granted to loyalists from 
the states. Among these was Stephen 
Humbert, a New Jersey Methodist, who 
began as soon as possible to hold services, 

Canada 185 

apparently more or less private, as the 
Episcopal Church would not allow full tol- 
eration. In these services he was assisted 
by the saintly Abraham John Bishop, who 
organized the first class meeting in St. John 
in 1 79 1. In that year William Black visited 
St. John, but was forbidden to preach by 
the magistrate unless he obtained special 
permission of the government. In 1792 
Bishop purchased a building for a church, 
which stood on the west side of Germain 
Street, between Duke and Queen Streets, 
and which served the infant cause till 
Joshua Marsden (author of the hymn, "Go, 
ye Messengers of God " ) built the Germain 
Street church in 1807-8. This latter was 
burnt down in the great fire of 1877. Bishop 
gathered congregations and classes, intro- 
duced Methodism into Fredericton and Shef- 
field, but was later sent to the West Indies, 
where he soon died of the yellow fever, — 
the Fletcher of the West. It is worthy of 
note that the first Methodist church built in 

186 The Methodists 

what is now the Dominion of Canada was 
in Sackville, N. B., in 1790, in which year 
a church was also built in St. Stephen, N. B. 
In 1 79 1 Ontario saw its first church and in 
1792 the old Argyle Street church was built 
in Halifax. The apostle of Western New 
Brunswick was Duncan MacColl, a Scotch 
soldier, who preached and formed societies 
in St. Stephen and elsewhere, i79iff., was 
ordained by Asbury in 1795, and for forty 
years continued his apostolic labors. 

The first organized work in Prince Ed- 
ward Island (called Island of St. John's 
until 1799) was by William Black in 1794, 
who formed classes in Charlottetown and 
Tryon. The first regular minister sent there 
was James Bulpit, who was welcomed at 
Murray Harbor by fifty people, many of 
whom were Methodists from the Channel 
Isles, where they had been converted by 
Adam Clarke. The only body of Method- 
ists other than those of the parent stock 
which ever came to the maritime provinces 

Canada 187 

was the Bible Christians, a number of whom 
emigrated from Devon, England, and set- 
tled in Prince Edward Island in 1831, fol- 
lowed by a minister, and these earnest folk 
kept up a separate organization until their 
half dozen congregations came into the 
general Methodist church in the great union 
of 1 884. The first regular itinerant stationed 
in Cape Breton was Matthew Cranswick, 
1829, " a man of fine presence, noble char- 
acter, and a successful winner of souls." 

Bermuda was visited by George White- 
field in 1748, where he preached with great 
power as usual and many were awakened. 
In 1784 Duncan MacColl, driven on St. 
George's by a storm, did some Christian 
work. Later Captain Travise of Baltimore 
held meetings in private houses. At length 
earnest request was made to Coke by in- 
fluential parties for a regular missionary. 
John Stephenson offered, was accepted, and 
in 1799 left Dublin for Bermuda, where he 
arrived May 10. There was at this time one 

188 The Methodists 

minister of the Church of England and one 
of the Church of Scotland in the island. 
But earnest systematic efforts by the brave 
and consecrated Stephenson to convert both 
blacks and whites met with determined 
opposition on the part of the Episcopal 
authorities. They passed a law forbidding 
any but an ordained minister of the Churches 
of England or of Scotland to officiate in re- 
ligious services. Poor Stephenson was thus 
found guilty in 1800, and sentenced "to be 
confined six months in the common jail, to 
pay fifty pounds, and to discharge all the 
fees of the court." On the 6th of Decem- 
ber, 1800, Stephenson entered the vile and 
sickly jail of St. George's, from whence 
he issued the 6th of June, 1801,— a worthy 
confessor of Christ's Gospel. Through the 
gratings he called both blacks and whites to 
repentance, and his voice of praise rang 
through the rooms of his prison. For many 
years visitors could read cut on the floor of 
the cell: 

Canada i 89 

John Stephenson 

Methodist Missionary 

Was imprisoned in this jail six months 

and fined fifty pounds 

For preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to 

African blacks and captive negroes. 

St. George's, Bermuda, 

June, 1801 

In 1802 he was recalled, but had to retire 
from active work on account of broken 
health. He continued to preach occasion- 
ally till his death in 1819. The subsequent 
history of Methodism in Bermuda as told by 
the Canadian Abel Stevens, the late Rev 
T. Watson Smith, in his admirable " History 
of Methodism in Eastern British America," 
is full of interest, but must be passed over. 
The Anglican gag-law became a dead letter, 
and Joshua Marsden in 1808 began again 
the work left by Stephenson. He laid 
strong foundations, and on these his suc- 
cessors, Dunbar, Wilson, Douglas, Daw- 
son, and others, built the enduring structure 
of the Bermuda Methodist Church. To-day 

190 The Methodists 

there are six hundred and fifty-nine mem- 
bers, six ministers, and five circuits in the 
islands, which are a district of the Nova 
Scotia Conference. 

From 1799 to 1855 the work in the 
eastern provinces was supplied as a part of 
the vast missionary operations of the British 
Conference. In 1855 tn ' s work was erected 
into a Conference,— the Wesleyan Methodist 
Conference of Eastern British America, gen- 
erally presided over by a representative from 
England. In 1874 the Eastern Church united 
with that of Ontario and Quebec, and with 
the new Connection Church of the same 
provinces, and three separate Conferences 
were formed, the Nova Scotia, the New 
Brunswick and Prince Edward Island and 
the Newfoundland. 

Converted soldiers were the pioneers of 
Methodism in Quebec and Ontario, in the 
former Commissary Tuffey, in the town of 
Quebec, in 1780, and in the latter Major 
George Neal on the Niagara frontier in 

Canada 191 

1786. The first class was organized at 
Augusta, Ontario, in 1788 by the loyalists 
and Methodist founders of New York, 
Paul and Barbara Heck and their three sons, 
some of the Emburys, John Lawrence and 
others. The first regular Methodist min- 
ister to these provinces was William Losee, 
who early in 1790 had preached his way 
from Lake Champlain, through Matilda, 
Augusta, Elizabethtown and Kingston, and 
then through the Bay of Quinte townships, 
until a flame of revival was kindled and 
many converted. An earnest request was 
sent to the New York Conference to supply 
the work, and in October, 1790, Losee was 
appointed. In 1791 Kingston circuit was 
formed, including the settlements from 
Kingston around the Bay of Quinte and the 
peninsula of Prince Edward. There on 
Hay Bay the first church was built, and a 
second soon followed ;»t Ernestown. At 
the New York Conference in Albany in 
1792, Losee reported 165 members. The 

192 The Methodists 

first Lord's Supper celebrated by Methodists 
in Canada was in Parrot's barn, in or near 
Ernesto wn, September 15, 1792. 

Brave and earnest men carried the Gospel 
farther west and north. In 1802 Nathan 
Bangs labored from Kingston to York, and 
in 1804 he was missionary from London to 
Detroit. William Case, the father of Indian 
missions, about the same time, organized 
the Thames circuit, between St. Clair and 
the Thames. It is unnecessary to give the 
steps in the wonderful development of 
Methodism in Canada. The history is a 
veritable romance of daring faith and 
courage. In what was then called Lower 
Canada (now Province of Quebec) Lorenzo 
Dow was the first regular itinerant, travel- 
ling through Durham and Sutton townships 
in 1799 to Montreal, and thence to Quebec. 
In 1802 Joseph Sawyer found some New 
York Methodists in Montreal, and in 1803 
Samuel Merwin was appointed to that 
place, which then had a membership of 

Canada 193 

seven. In 1809 the stone church on St. 
Sulpice Street was dedicated, — the first 
Methodist church of any elegance in the 
two Canadas. And so the work went on 
until it was interrupted in part by the 
devastating war of 1812-14. 

After this war the English government 
sought to increase the population of Can- 
ada. Thousands came in from the old 
land, including numerous Methodists, who 
naturally desired ministrations of their own 
ministers according to their own polity. 
Their requests were granted by the British 
Conference, who in 181 s appointed Richard 
Williams to Quebec and John Strong to 
Montreal. Others followed ,and soon there 
were two rival churches and polities in the 
two Canadas, — the old Methodist Episcopal 
from the states and the new Wesleyan 
Methodist from England. A truce was ar- 
ranged by John Emory in 1820, by the terms 
of which the former body was to confine 
itself to Lower, and the latter to Upper 

194 The Methodists 

Canada. This proved unsatisfactory as 
many of the British emigrants in Upper 
Canada (Ontario) would not unite with a 
church that represented to them a foreign 
jurisdiction, and many of the residents of 
the lower province refused the English 
Methodist Church ministrations. This was 
met in part by the organization of an inde- 
pendent Canadian Conference in Upper 
Canada in 1824, authorized by the General 
Conference of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church of that year. One of the most 
powerful and devoted ministers, Henry 
Ryan, believed that national feelings were 
too strong to make this a permanently suc- 
cessful solution as the Canada Conference 
was still in connection with the Church in 
the states, and he therefore organized the 
Canadian Wesleyan Church. In 1828 the 
Canada Conference, under the name of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada, be- 
came entirely independent of the American 
Church. The British Church now felt itself 

Canada 195 

for some reason relieved of the compact of 
1820, and began to send ministers into 
Upper Canada. It made overtures of union 
to the Canada Church; in 1832 these were 
immediately accepted — so much stronger 
was the national than the ecclesiastical 
bond. All the ties which had bound the 
Canada Methodists to the church which 
Wesley organized on this continent in 1784 
were snapped in a moment. Instead of 
mutual concession the Canada Church sur- 
rendered all the peculiarities of polity which 
she had received from the mother church 
across the border, and merged herself fully 
into the Wesleyan Methodist Church of 
England. Naturally there were those who 
could not go into the new church. These 
kept up the organization of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church of Canada, which lasted 
until it united with the other Methodist 
bodies of Canada in. 1884. 

Canada had its own struggle with the 
persecuting hand of the Church of England. 

196 The Methodists 

James McCarty, an earnest evangelist of the 
latter part of the eighteenth century, was 
murdered by the minions of this Church. 
When she could no longer prevent evan- 
gelism and organization she harassed the 
Methodists in every possible way. Though 
there was no explicit law in Canada forbid- 
ding ministers not Episcopal to celebrate 
matrimony, custom became a law, so that 
Methodist ministers who united members 
of their flock in marriage were fined or 
banished. Bishop Strachan was a specially 
bitter opponent of the Methodists. His rep- 
resentations were so grossly libelous that 
they were made the subject of an investiga- 
tion by the Provincial Assembly in 1827, 
which completely refuted and exploded 
them. This was followed by the great 
Clergy Reserves controversy between the 
Church of England in Upper Canada on 
one hand, and the Protestant churches (par- 
ticularly the Methodists) on the other, and 
which meant whether Canada was to have 

Canada 197 

an Established Church or not. Egerton 
Ryerson, elected editor of The Christian 
Guardian on its establishment in 1829, 
was the protagonist of freedom in this 
controversy, and rendered immortal serv- 
ice. This matter was not settled till 1840, 
when the exclusive claims of the Church of 
England were disallowed, though the Re- 
serves were not completely secularized till 


Space forbids a sketch of the history of 
the New Connection Methodist Church in 
Canada, the later history of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, that of the Primitive 
Methodist Church and the Bible Christian 
Church. In 1867 the Dominion of Canada 
was formed by the North American Act, 
consisting of the provinces of Nova Scotia, 
New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario. 
Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, and British 
Columbia came in later This suggested an 
ecclesiastical union. Such a union was ef- 
fected in 1874, between the Wesleyan Meth- 

198 The Methodists 

odist Conference of Eastern British America 
(the oldest branch of Methodism in Canada), 
the same church in the upper provinces, and 
the new Connection Church, the resulting 
body taking the name of The Methodist 
Church of Canada. In 1884 this great body 
received the other churches mentioned 
above, — the greatest and most important 
union movement which attained successful 
issue in the history of the Christian Church. 



The first Methodists were Oxford men. 
If the tremendous emphasis on evangelism 
which characterized early Methodism (see 
Matthew 28: 19, 20; Mark 15: is, 16) and 
the needs of the work made it impossible 
to wait until educated men could be secured 
as preachers, that was simply a necessity. 
Ignorance is no part of the Methodist inher- 
itance. In the first Conference Wesley held 
(1744) we read: 

Question. Can we have a seminary for 
laborers ? 

Answer. If God spare us till another 

At the next: 

Question. Can ws have a seminary for 
laborers yet ? 


200 The Methodists 

Answer. Not till God gives us a proper 

In 1740, only two years after his conver- 
sion, Wesley took over a school started the 
previous year by Whitefield at Kingswood, 
near Bristol. It was intended for boarders 
and day scholars, but was later limited to 
the education of ministers' children. Though 
it had a modest beginning it was really a 
school of high grade, of which Wesley 
said himself: "Whoever carefully goes 
through this course will be a better scholar 
than nine out of ten of the graduates of 
Oxford or Cambridge." Wesley outlined 
the curriculum, making eight courses or 
grades, including reading, writing, arith- 
metic, English, French, Latin, Greek, He- 
brew, history, geography, chronology, 
rhetoric, logic, ethics, geometry, algebra, 
physics and music. For some of these sub- 
jects he prepared text-books. He insisted 
in thoroughness, on high intellectual and 
religious qualifications for teachers, and on 

Education 201 

great care in the admission of students. A 
religious spirit must pervade the school. 
For this reason, in regard to teachers, he 
says: "None would answer my purpose 
but men who were truly devoted to God; 
who sought nothing on earth, neither pleas- 
ure, nor ease, nor profit, nor the praise of 
men, but simply to glorify God with their 
bodies and spirits." This school was the 
burden of his heart, — how he loved it, how 
he toiled and begged for it! A little before 
his death he said, "I have delivered the 
management of Kingswood School to 
stewards on whom I could depend. So I 
have cast a heavy load off my shoulders. 
Blessed be God for faithful and able men 
who will do this work without any tem- 
poral reward." Wesley's humble Kings- 
wood School has sent out its lines into all 
the world. Its graduates have gone into 
parliaments and commerce, into science and 
learning, into all the professions and out on 
far off mission fields. In 1851 it was re- 

202 The Methodists 

moved into larger and costlier buildings at 
Landsdowne, Bath. In 1812 another school 
of the same kind was founded at Wood- 
house Grove, Appleby, near Leeds. In 
1835 a theological institution (with college 
features) was opened at Hoxton, London, 
another at the celebrated Abney House, 
Stoke Newington, where Isaac Watts — in- 
vited to spend a week — remained for thirty- 
six years (1712-48) the honored and beloved 
guest of Sir Thomas Abney. These schools 
were later removed to Richmond, London, 
and Didsbury, Manchester, where eminent 
scholars and theologians have written and 
taught. Theological institutions have also 
been founded at Headingly, Leeds, in 1868, 
and at Hands worth, Birmingham, in 1881. 
There are also Wesley College for boys, 
Sheffield, the Leys School, Cambridge 
(1874), and Trinity College, Taunton. Be- 
sides these the Wesleyan Methodist Church 
supports a system of day schools having 
159,000 scholars, with an annual expendi- 

Education 203 

ture of ,£259,000, including normal colleges 
in Westminster and Southlands. In Ire- 
land Wesley College, Dublin, and the Bel- 
fast Methodist College, supply the needs of 
the Methodist people. The other churches 
in England have their own schools — the 
Primitive Methodists, a theological college 
in Manchester, schools for youth in York 
and Birmingham, and an orphanage at 
Alresford, the Bible Christians a college at 
Shebber, Highhampton, Devon, etc., etc. 
There are also many schools on mission 

Asbury had the same ambition for educa- 
tion. His extensive travels brought before 
him evidences of popular ignorance, and he 
desired to do something to mitigate it. His 
first effort in this direction was an academy 
in the southern part of Brunswick County, 
Virginia — called Ebenezer Academy by As- 
bury, who had a partiality for Bible names. 
(The name of the later Cokesbury College 
was due to Coke's vanity rather than to 

204 The Methodists 

Asbury's, who, though he magnified his 
office, had none of the former's self-esteem 
and love of honor. But for this name both 
were severely rebuked by Wesley.) Much 
obscurity rests upon this first educational 
attempt, but the diligent investigations of 
Dr. Anson W Cummings have unearthed 
many facts about it hitherto unknown. It 
was established between 1780 and 1784 
(probably 1784), was diligently looked after 
by Asbury, was governed by trustees, was 
in a two-story stone building 20x40, and 
the names of both teachers and graduates, 
some of whom became noted Virginians, 
are known. Some time before 1809 it went 
out of Asbury's hands, under the entire 
control of the teacher, and about 1845 was 

More ambitious was the college founded 
at Abingdon on the Chesapeake, twenty- 
five miles from Baltimore, in 1785, named 
Cokesbury for the two bishops. The 
money was collected by them, in whose 

Education 205 

hands rested $2,500, before a stone was 
laid — unprecedently generous giving con- 
sidering the poverty of the people. The 
edifice was in three stories, 108x40. It cost 
about $40,000, the most of it collected in 
small sums from a widely scattered people. 
On Sunday, June 5, 1785, Asbury preached 
the sermon at the laying of the corner- 
stone. "Attired in his long silk gown, his 
clerical bands floating in the breeze, the 
bishop took his stand." "I stood on the 
ground," he says, "where the building was 
to be erected, warm as it was, and spoke 
from the 78th psalm, verses 4-8. I had 
liberty in speaking, and faith to believe 
the work would go on." Two years later 
he is there to open the college. "We opened 
the college," he says, December 6, 1787, 
" and admitted twenty-five students. I 
preached on the text, ' Trust in the Lord, 
and do good.'" For ten years this school 
did its noble work. Asbury used to beg 
from door to door for its support. Alas ! 

206 The Methodists 

for lack of endowment the burden was in- 
tolerable! " I found the college 1,200 pounds 
in debt," says Asbury in October, 1794. On 
December 7, 1795, at midnight the college 
edifice was burnt to the ground, with all the 
records, library, scientific apparatus, etc. On 
receiving news of this Asbury wrote in his 
diary, " Its enemies may rejoice, and its 
friends need not mourn. Would any man 
give me 10,000 pounds per year to do and 
suffer what I have done for that house I 
would not do it. I wished for a school, 
Dr. Coke wanted a college." 

Undaunted the noble Baltimore Method- 
ists bought a property on Light Street in 
that city, and immediately started the 
school again. This Asbury always called 
"the academy." But sad to say, this too 
went up in flames December^ 1796 — by 
accident, however, not by an incendiary, as 
the other. 

It is not to be wondered at that the work 
of college building was suspended for a 

Education 207 

time. The whole energies of the poor 
Methodists were required and more than 
required to keep pace by houses of wor- 
ship, parsonages, benevolent funds, etc., 
with the rapidly advancing work in all 
parts of the country. Asbury has been 
criticised for concluding that perhaps the 
untimely fate of Coke's ambitious scheme 
showed that God did not at that time call 
Methodists to college building. But he 
was the wiser, as he was the more modest 
man, and he was wiser than his critics. 
Asbury did not say, God has not called us 
to education. He had no thought of aban- 
doning that. As Dr. A. W Cummings 
well says: "Asbury returned to his early 
and favorite scheme of establishing his 
celebrated distinct schools in all parts of 
the country, not already provided with 
schools, to which the youth of Methodist 
families might repair for instruction in the 
higher branches of learning. Some of 
these became good classical academies," 

208 The Methodists 

and did great good for country and church, 
and paved the way for the educational era 
of 1820. 

The next educational venture was in the 
vast territory of Kentucky made a county 
of Virginia in 1776 and a state in 1792, and 
settled in part by Methodists from Virginia 
and the Carolinas. The first regular itiner- 
ants visited it in 1786, followed in May, 
1790, by Asbury and his companions, who 
plunged into the 200-mile forest which lay 
between Southwestern Virginia and Lexing- 
ton. The Methodists had petitioned for a 
school; it was as much therefore for educa- 
tional as for evangelistic purposes that As- 
bury made this great journey. Land was 
offered by Lewis, a Virginia Methodist 
who had settled in the new country, on a 
high bluff on the Kentucky River not far 
from Lexington. This was accepted, and 
Bethel Academy was started there, in a 
large three-story brick building in 1794, 
with John Metcalf as principal. He vigor- 

Education 209 

ously administered it until iKo=, when he 
removed it to Nicholasville, the county seat 
of the new Jessamine County in which it 
was situated. After isos it ceased to be 
strictly a Methodist school, though gener- 
ally under a Methodist principal. It has 
had a continuous and honorable existence 
from that day to this. The original build- 
ing on the Kentucky bluff was used as a 
neighborhood school for some years, then 
abandoned, the lands reverting to the Lewis 
estate. The noble and consecrated Francis 
Povthress. the first presiding elder of the 
Kentucky district, put his life into this 
school, and died almost a martyr to his de- 
votion. Another notable laborer at Bethel 
was the Cokesburv alumnus Valentine 
Cook, "the most literary man we had in 
the West for some time," says Bishop Kava- 

In 17Q2 a school was established in 
Uniontown, Fayette County, Pa. "We 
have here established a seminary of learn- 

210 The Methodists 

ing," writes Asbury, "called Union school. 
Brother Charles Conaway (presiding elder 
of the district) is the manager. This es- 
tablishment is designed for instruction 
in grammar, in languages and the sciences." 
It did good work as an academy until it 
became Madison College in 1826 under the 
inspiration of the educational movement of 
1820-5. h was under the patronage of 
Pittsburg Conference, and held as profess- 
ors names eminent in our annals, like 
Henry B. Bacon (chair of moral science), 
Charles Elliott (languages), J. H. Fielding 
(mathematics, which department was also 
managed by John R. Reynolds and John 
Clark). On account of coming into pos- 
session of Allegheny College, the Church 
retired from the college in Uniontown in 
1832. Matthew Simpson was a graduate 
of Madison. 

On March 12, 1789, Asbury writes in his 
journal : " Our Conference began at Grant's, 
Georgia. On Thursday we appointed a 

Education 2 1 1 

committee to procure 500 acres of land for 
the establishment of a school in the state of 
Georgia." One congregation pledged 12,- 
500 pounds of tobacco. The school was to 
be named Wesley and Whitefield School, 
but it was never founded, partly on account 
of failure to secure the land, and partly on 
account of the shock occasioned by the fall 
of Beverly Allen, long one of the most 
brilliant and popular preachers in the South. 
Hope Hull, an able minister, and Asbury's 
friend and right-hand man in Georgia, 
shared Asbury's educational enthusiasm, 
and opened a school on his own account 
in 1795 at Washington, Wilkes County, 
Georgia, which he with other able teachers 
conducted until 1803, when he removed to 
Athens, where he became one of the leaders 
and chief supporters of the new state 
University in that town. Here Stephen 
Olin, the distinguished scholar and edu- 
cator, came under his influence, and was 
later professor at Athens. Great results, 

212 The Methodists 

therefore, undreamt of by its promoters, 
flowed from the proposed Wesley and 
Whitefield School. 

Asbury as an educational founder is not 
as well known as he ought to be. It is 
pathetic to think of this tireless itinerant, 
burdened with the work of evangelism and 
administration, bending his neck to the task 
of founding schools. But he saw the great 
future of this country, and was statesman 
enough to desire to preoccupy its strategic 
points with centres of Christian light. " We 
spent an evening at widow Brady's," he 
says, November 30, 1779, "and had some 
talk about erecting a Kingswood School in 
America." The next year he asked John 
Dickens, the founder of the Methodist Book 
Concern, — John Dickens whom he describes 
as his "young countryman of great piety, 
great skill in learning, who drinks in Latin 
and Greek swiftly, yet prays much, and 
walks closely with God," — he asked this 
man to draw up a subscription paper to 

Education 2 ) 3 

erect such a school. And it was erected, as 
we have seen. But later another school of 
the same name was opened in North 
Carolina, but when it started and when it 
closed its doors for the last time we shall 
never know. April 2, 1794, Asburysays: 
"Came to a meeting-house, near Hunting 
Creek, in Surry County, North Carolina. 
After preaching I came to Cokesbury School, 
near Hardy Jones s. It is twenty feet square, 
two stories high, well set out with doors 
and windows. This house is not too large, 
as some others are. It stands on a beautiful 
eminence overlooking the lowlands and the 
Yadkin River." In that year he appointed 
one of his presiding elders principal. 

Longer and more honorable was the his- 
tory of Bethel Academy, Mount Bethel, 
Newberry County, South Carolina, opened 
in 1795, reopened 1802, well patronized by 
Georgia and North. Carolina, as well as 
South Carolina, held in high esteem, mother 
of many distinguished men in the South. 

214 The Methodists 

the feeder of South Carolina College, dis- 
continued in 1820, or rather transferred to 
the Tabernacle Academy, Mount Ariel, in 
the neighboring district of Abbeville, where 
Stephen Olin was principal, 1824-26, re- 
moved after many years to a more healthy 
site two miles distant, its name changed to 
Cokesbury Conference School, where it re- 
mains to this day doing good work as the 
official school of the South Carolina Con- 

Asbury College, Baltimore, was organ- 
ized in 1 8 16 — the first chartered Methodist 
college in the world — whose soul was the 
learned and pious physician and local 
preacher, Samuel K. Jennings, and which 
did excellent work with a faculty of five. 
One of the professors was an infidel and 
one a Catholic. How long this college 
lasted we cannot tell, probably not over 
three or four years. There seems to be no 
record of it after 1818. 

And now (about 1816) began that won- 

Education 2 1 5 

derf ul educational activity — which has lasted 
to the present time, and which is probably 
without a parallel in Church history. To 
give even a sketch of it would take a 
volume. By a people of whom it could be 
said, "not many wise after the flesh, not 
many mighty, not many noble," not many 
rich, "are called" (1 Corinthians 1: 26), to 
lay such an offering on the altar of God as 
is implied in the partial and fragmentary 
statements which I shall now add is unique 
in history. 

In 1816 the New England Conference 
determined to start an academy at New- 
market, New Hampshire. It was opened 
September 1, 1817, removed to Wilbraham, 
Massachusetts, in 182s, where after more 
than three-quarters of a century's noble his- 
tory it still stands with new and greatly 
enlarged buildings. 

In 1798 the citizens of Bracken County, 
Kentucky, secured from the State a grant of 
6.000 acres of land to establish an academy 

216 The Methodists 

at Augusta, Kentucky, on the Ohio River. 
In 1 82 1 the Kentucky and Ohio Conferences 
united to take advantage of this grant, and 
opened in 1822, a preparatory school, which 
received a college charter the same year, 
under John P. Finley. Here also Durbin, 
Ruter and other men famous in Methodism 
taught. Owing to the troubles of 1844 the 
school was suspended in 1849, but later re- 
vived, and is now known as the Augusta 
Collegiate Institute. 

Cazenovia Seminary is the result of a 
resolution of the old Genesee Conference in 
1819 "to open a seminary of learning 
within its bounds." The removal of the 
capital of Madison County, New York, 
from Cazenovia to Morrisville in 1817, threw 
the court-house on the market. This was 
bought immediately for both church and 
school purposes, religious services being 
held in 1818 and the seminary started in 
1824. In the invaluable book on Methodist 
schools by the late Rev. Anson W Cum- 

Education 2 1 7 

mings (New York, 1886) the principal is 
quoted as saying that "from careful com- 
petition it has been found that more than 
600 men have here prepared for college, 
3,000 have been converted to Christ, 1,000 
entered the ministry, 400 the law, 400 
medicine, more than 1,000 are successful 
business men, 1,500 are engaged as teachers 
in colleges and other schools, and nearly all 
have pursued or are pursuing honorable and 
useful callings." 

Maine Wesleyan Seminary and Female 
College was started by the enterprise of a 
public spirited farmer, Luther Sampson, in 
founding at Kents Hill, in 182 1, the Read- 
field Religious and Charitable Society, which 
changed in name to Maine Wesleyan Semi- 
nary in 182=,. 

Owing to the division of the Genesee 
Conference in 182X Cazenovia Seminary fell 
to the Oneida Conference (since further 
subdivided, so that the Seminary now be- 
longs to Central Nl»w York Conference). 

218 The Methodists 

In 1829 it was resolved to see what could 
be done in establishing a school. In 1830, 
Lima, New York, was selected, in 183 1-2, 
a building erected, and on May 1, 1832, the 
Genesee Wesleyan Seminary was opened in 
that beautiful town. 

Alden Partridge, who had been a princi- 
pal of the West Point Military Academy, 
opened the American Literary, Scientific 
and Military Academy at Middletown, Con- 
necticut, in 1825. Failing to receive the 
privileges asked for from the State Assem- 
bly he removed his institution to Norwich, 
Vermont, in 1829. That left two four-story 
stone buildings standing unoccupied — 
happy removal for Methodism! Laban 
Clark, presiding elder of the district in 
which Middletown was situated, brought the 
matter to the attention of the New York 
Conference in May, 1829. This Conference 
conferred with the New England, and in 
1830 both determined to locate a college in 
Middletown. In 1 831, it was incorporated 

Education 219 

as Wesleyan University and opened Sep- 
tember 21, of that year, with Wilbur Fisk 
—omm faustum ! — as president. 

The oldest building occupied by any 
Methodist educational institution is prob- 
ably the West College, erected 1805, the 
nucleus of the present noble equipment of 
Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. 
This college was chartered in 1783, named 
after John Dickinson, the "Pennsylvania 
farmer " author of " Letters of Fabius, " man- 
aged bv trustees consisting of Presbyterians 
(principally), Lutherans and Episcopalians, 
taken over by the Methodists in IS}} and 
opened under its new management in 1 s ^4 . 

If the failure <>f Dickinson College under 
its first management was largely due to ad- 
ministrative faults, that of Allegheny Col- 
lege, founded at Meadville, Pennsylvania, in 
1815-17 by the indomitable exertions of the 
Rev. Timothy Alden. a Harvard graduate, 
who left the pastorate of a Congregational 
Church in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to 

220 The Methodists 

found schools, was due to the jealousy and 
opposition of two Presbyterian colleges — 
Jefferson and Washington — who already 
occupied the territory of northwestern 
Pennsylvania. In 1831, the brave and 
noble Alden had to close his college. Hap- 
pily he lived long enough (died 1839) to see 
the college given by the trustees to the 
Pittsburg Conference, which immediately 
endowed and reopened it, November 3, 

Since 1833 educational development has 
gone on a pace. The great Universities at 
Syracuse, Boston, Evanston, Delaware 
(Ohio), Bloomington, Nashville, Green- 
castle (Indiana), Denver, as well as colleges 
and seminaries scattered here and there all 
over the land — and this in all the various 
Methodist bodies — tell of sacrifices and 
achievements to which volumes could not 
do justice. The Methodist Church agrees 
thoroughly with the Catholic in the neces- 
sity of a Christian education for youth, but 

Education 221 

disagrees as to an unsectarian public school 

The first distinctively theological school 
was opened at Newbury, Vermont, in 1841, 
formally dedicated in 1843, removed to 
Concord, New Hampshire, in 1847, to Bos- 
ton in 1867, and became a department of 
Boston University, "the first completely 
organized university, with all the faculties, 
in Universal Methodism," in 1S71. Garrett 
Biblical Institute was founded by the muni- 
ficence of Mrs Eliza Garrett in 18S4, and 
is now the theological department of the 
largest Methodist University in the world, 
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. 
Drew Theological Seminary. Madison, New 
Jersey, owes its being to the counsel of the 
Rev. John Parker, the intimate friend and 
past. 'i of Mr. Daniel Drew a wealthy New 
York broker, who gave $270,000 for this 
purpose. It was opened November (>, 1867. 
In all Drew spent about $soo,ooo. In the 
spring of 1S7S Diew failed, and the endow- 

222 The Methodists 

ment for the running expenses was swept 
away. Before the then president, Prof. 
John F- Hurst, was elected bishop in 1880, 
through the exertions of himself and Pro- 
fessor (now president) Buttz and the gener- 
ous aid of the friends of the seminary, he 
had the satisfaction of seeing the amount 
lost more than recovered. 

The latest educational project is the 
American University, a purely post-graduate 
school, founded in Washington, D. C, in 
1890, by Bishop John F Hurst, intended to 
cap the educational system by an institution 
which will lay open the immense scientific 
treasures of the capital to men previously 
trained in college. It is greatly handicapped 
by the almost prohibitory action of the 
General Conference forbidding it to open 
its doors until it has a productive endow- 
ment beyond buildings and lands of $5,000,- 
000. Action like that would have prevented 
the opening of every university in Europe 
or America, for the history of education is 

Education 223 

the best commentary on the question of the 
sacred prophet, Who hath despised the day 
of small things? (Zech. 4: 10). 



" I look upon all the world as my par- 
ish," were the now famous words of John 
Wesley which Dean Stanley had engraved 
on the Wesley tablet in Westminster 
Abbey. Looking back upon them from 
this distance they seem strangely prophetic. 
And although the work of home missions 
necessarily absorbed the energies of the 
early Methodists, their work indirectly 
stimulated the whole modern missionary 
enterprise and directly produced some no- 
table forms of it. Both the London and the 
Church Missionary Societies were the result 
of it, nor were the men who formed the 
Baptist Missionary Society in the parlor of 
a little house in Kettering, October 2, 1792, 
far removed from its influence. John 

"The World is My Parish" 22; 

Wesley was not unmindful of distant lands 
though he started no specific missions to 
the heathen. He himself went out to 
Georgia to convert the Indians, and during 
his ministry he sent missionaries to America, 
West Indies and Newfoundland. The first 
missionary to the heathen ever sent out by 
Methodists was George Warren, who in 
1811 left England for Sierra Leone, though 
even in this case a previous evangelization 
had been done by the Methodist pioneers 
in Nova Scotia. These had converted many 
negroes who had tied from slavery in the 
States, and who later went to Africa. 
These Christian blacks wanted the minis- 
trations of the Gospel. They therefore 
sent to England for preachers and Warren 
was the response. English Methodism has 
not only a flourishing mission in Sierra 
I.eone, with thousands of members, but 
has missions also on the Gambia, on the 
Gold Co. ist, Ashantee, and in other coun- 
tries in West Africa. Cape Colony and 

226 The Methodists 

Natal, among the Kaffirs, Hottentots, Fin- 
goes, Bechuanas, Zulus and other tribes and 
in the two South African oligarchies whose 
people have recently been given freedom 
and constitutional rights by England. In 
1812 Samuel Leigh was sent to Australia, 
where a class of Methodist immigrants had 
already been formed, and where he laid 
broad and deep the foundations of a great 

Thomas Coke, who took an intense in- 
terest in missions (to quote my own words 
in the Hurst "History of the Christian 
Church," II, 832-3), and begged from door 
to door for the missionaries in America, 
France and the Jersey Islands, in his old age 
was consumed with longing to found evan- 
gelical Christianity in India. On June 18, 
1813, he writes (he was then sixty-six), " I 
am now dead to Europe and alive for India. 
God himself has said to me, Go to Ceylon. 
I am so fully convinced of the will of God 
that methinks I had rather be set naked on 

"The World is My Parish" 227 

the coast of Ceylon, without clothes and 
without a friend, than not to go there. 
The fleets sail in October and January. If 
the Conference employs me to raise the 
money for the outset 1 shall notW able to 
sail till January. I shall bear my own ex- 
penses, of course. I shall probably be here 
till this day fortnight, then 1 set off for 
Liverpool." In the next Conference Coke 
pleaded as a man for his life to be sent to 
India. The night before the day fixed for 
the official debate he spent in prayer for 
India. In the debate Coke told of the 
providential circumstances which had led 
him to this mission, the favor shown it by 
some men of power, the dutv of preaching 
the Gospel to the millions of the East, and 
then offered himself and other ministers 
who had consented "to dare with himself 
the dangers of the enterprise." He added, 
"If the Conference could not bear the ex- 
pense he would himself defray the initial 
expenditure to the extent of /"6,ooo." The 

228 The Methodists 

Conference passed a resolution in which it 
"authorizes and appoints Dr. Coke to un- 
dertake a mission to Ceylon and Java, and 
allows him to take with him six mission- 
aries, exclusive of one for the cape of 
Good Hope." Thus began Methodist mis- 
sions to Asia in which some of the greatest 
triumphs of the Gospel, as well as of con- 
secrated scholarship, have been realized. 
Here the brilliant Gogerly carried on his 
researches, and here Robert Spence Hardy 
laid the foundation for that accurate and 
extensive knowledge of Buddhism, by 
which he permanently enriched the scien- 
tific literature of religion. 

Methodist missions have also reclaimed 
from cannibalism and given to commerce 
and civilization many islands of the South 

" Where every prospect pleases, 
And only man is vile," 

and the story of missionary enterprise there 

"The World is My Parish" 229 

is a romance of daring and heroism not 
surpassed in the annals of discovery or ad- 
venture. The "strenuous life" has been 
interpreted as chiefly the doing physical 
damage to our brother-men, especially 
killing them in war; but a finer example is 
the work of Cargill and Cross in the Fiji 
islands (183=^.). To be set down lone and 
defenseless among savages and man-eaters, 
to learn their language, to interest them in 
Christianity, to convert and civilize them, — 
that is a work requiring far more bravery 
than a war against a decrepit monarchy or 
against its distant colony stirred to action 
bv the dawning consciousness of liberty. 
The latest information from these now 
Christian islands, which have themselves 
been sending missionaries to other lands, is 
the proselvting work of Catholics, who 
have succeeded in gaining a chief, and 
have celebrated their success bv a bonfire 
of all the translations of the New Testa- 
ment made bv the I'totestant missionaries 

230 The Methodists 

which they could obtain. This was in 
the spring of the year of the Lord 

In America, missionary work has been 
done on a large scale, according to their 
resources, by all the Methodist Churches. 
It is an interesting fact that the organized 
missionary work of the Methodist Episcopal 
church goes back to the labors of a con- 
verted Indian-negro, John Stewart, who 
was the trophy of Marcus Lindsay's preach- 
ing at Marietta, Ohio, in 1816. "Soon 
after I embraced religion," Stewart says, 
" I went out into the fields to pray. It 
seemed to me I heard a voice, like the voice 
of a woman, praising God; and then an- 
other, as the voice of a man, saying to me, 
'You must declare my counsel faithfully.' 
These voices went through me powerfully. 
They seem to come from a northwest 
direction. I soon found myself standing 
on my feet and speaking, as if addressing a 
congregation." He could not disobey the 

-The World is My Parish" 231 

heavenly voice. He took his knapsack and 
set off towards the northwest, not know- 
ing whither he was going. He came to 
the Delaware Indians, who were singing 
and preparing for a dance. He began to 
sing one of the songs of Zion, and they 
asked him to "sing more." He preached 
to them, and moved on towards the Wyan- 
dots. Here he found a fugitive slave who 
had been living among them and who 
knew their language. Stewart preached, 
with Pointer (the slave) as interpreter 
Many were converted, among them several 
chiefs and a young Armstrong lad who 
had been taken prisoner and adopted by 
the tribe. 

News of the successes of Stewart among 
the Indians created a profound impression 
when it reached the East. Measures were 
at once taken to form a missionary society 
which was done at the Bowery Church. 
New York, April s. 1810. This was nine 
yeais after the Coiigregationalists had 

232 The Methodists 

founded their great organization, the 
American Board of Commissioners for 
Foreign Missions, and four years after the 
Baptists had organized the American 
Baptist Missionary Union. Much opposi- 
tion and worse lethargy the new society 
had to meet, partly on account of the Bible 
work which it undertook, but which it 
soon turned over to the American Bible 
Society, and partly on account of indiffer- 
ence, if not hostility, to foreign missions. 
But brave men held the fort, and would not 
give up. Their first report said, "Meth- 
odism itself is a missionary system. 
Yield the missionary spirit, and you yield 
the very life blood of the cause." "The 
time may not be come when we shall send 
the missionaries beyond the seas," but they 
pointed to the wonderful opportunities in 
the home land, the incoming French and 
Spanish, also the yet undeveloped West, 
and the aborigines. And it was this home 
mission work to which the church ad- 

•The World is My Parish" 233 

dressed herself for the first twelve years of 
the life of the society. 

In 1825 the society resolved to ask the 
bishops to send a missionary to Liberia. 
No suitable man presented himself, ap- 
parently. But in 183 1 Bishop Hedding met 
Melville B. Cox, a young but frail minister 
of Virginia Conference, who was burning 
with zeal to do something for Christ in a 
foreign land. South America was in his 
thoughts, but Hedding turned his attention 
to Africa. "If the Lord will, I think I will 
go," said Cox. Soon Liberia was "swal- 
lowing up all his thoughts." In May, 1832, 
he was appointed for Africa. " I thirst to 
be on my way. I pray that God may fit 
mv soul and body for the duties before me; God may go with me there. I have 
no lingering fear. A grave in Africa shall 
be sweet to me if he sustain me." He 
anticipated an early death. 'I know I 
cannot live lon^ in Africa, but I hope to 
live long enough to v,ci there; and if God 

234 The Methodists 

please that my bones shall lie in an African 
grave, I shall have established such a bond 
between Africa and the church at home as 
shall not be broken till Africa be re- 
deemed." During his last visit at Middle- 
town, Connecticut, he said to one of the 
students of the university, 

"If I die in Africa you must come over 
and write my epitaph." 

" I will," said the youth, "but what shall 
I write?" "Write," said Cox, "Let a 
thousand fall before Africa be given up." 

Cox lived long enough to organize the 
mission, start churches and schools, and to 
give vitality to the movement. In four 
months he was dead of Africa fever, July 
21, 1833, aged thirty-four. "There is not 
in the wide world," he said, "such a field 
for missionary enterprise." The Liberia 
mission thus consecrated by the sacrifice 
of Cox has never been abandoned but has 
rather been the starting point for further 
work for Africa. In 1885 Bishop Taylor 

"The World is My Parish" 235 

opened up the vast Congo country, in 1892 
the Congregationalists turned over their 
work in East Africa, and in 1899 Bishop 
Hartzell planted flourishing missions in 
Umitali and along the track of that great 
empire which under British auspices will 
yet destroy the Mohammedan slave trade 
and build up a Christian civilization in 
the Dark Continent. 

The pioneer of the Methodist mission in 
South America was Fountain E. Pitts, who 
in i8;s visited Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Ayres, 
Montevideo and other places. The next year 
Justin Spaulding and John Dempster were 
sent, followed by Daniel P. Kidder in 1N37. 
Thev learned the Portuguese language, 
preached and translated books and tracts 
in it, circulated Bibles, and were in a fair 
way to see permanent results. Catholicism 
of an ignorant and degraded type was domi- 
nant everywhere, and. all the arts of civiliza- 
tion were in a backward state. The priests 
were licentious- rejoicing in large families 

236 The Methodists 

of illegitimate children. If for no other 
reason than as a stimulant to their own 
church the Catholics should have welcomed 
the missionaries. In fact many of them did, 
heard them gladly, bought and read the 
Testaments and other books which they 
distributed, and many were converted. In 
some states the laws, if enforced, made ag- 
gressive work impossible, as they forbade 
Protestants preaching in Portuguese or in 
the native language, or having services in a 
building which looked like a church. Kid- 
der found a liberal priest who welcomed 
him heartily, said that Catholicism was being 
abandoned for infidelity, that the Bible was 
the best antidote, and consented to dis- 
tribute Bibles and tracts in the parish. Un- 
fortunately on account of a financial crisis 
in the United States and lack of faith on the 
part of the Missionary Society, Kidder, 
Spaulding and Dempster were withdrawn 
in 1841. It is a striking coincidence that 
two of these South American pioneers — 

"The World is My Parish" 237 

Kidder and Dempster — became famous in 
the history of theological education, the 
latter being almost the founder of theolog- 
ical seminaries by his great work at Concord 
(184S-S4) and at Evanston (i8ss— 63), and 
was about starting on a mission to found a 
theological school on the Pacific Coast when 
he died at Chicago, November 28, 1863. 
The holy and devoted Kidder lived to enrich 
theological literature, did conscientious 
service at Garrett (18,6-71) and at Drew 
(1871—80), was the first to place the Board 
of Education — founded 1S08 — on a secure 
and successful basis (1880-S7), and died full 
of years and honors at Evanston, July 29, 

The mission at Buenos Ayres and Monte- 
video has had an eventful history. Wil- 
liam H. Norris did a noble work at the 
Litter city. William Taylor the most apos- 
tolic man of the nineteenth century, who 
intioJuced self-supporting missions on a 
large scale in South America, India and 

238 The Methodists 

Africa, started schools and other appliances 
of Christian work in many places in South 
America. These have been the nucleus of 
larger efforts continued and enlarged under 
the missionary society. In 1893 the stations 
were formed into the South American Con- 
ference, from which those in the west were 
separated in 1897 under the name of the 
Western South American Mission Confer- 
ence. The former has societies in about 
thirty-five towns, besides six in Buenos 
Ayres, four in Rosario, and two in Monte- 
video; the latter has ten stations in Chili, 
and an English and Spanish work in Callao 
and Lima. The Rev. Thomas B. Wood, 
who knows as much about South America 
as any living man, speaks thus of the 
progress of liberty, "The last revolution 
in Bolivia enthroned a party that is giving 
proofs of willingness to enlarge religious 
liberty. In Peru a new party has been 
organized with influential and promising 
elements, declaring for full religious liberty. 

"The World is My Parish" 239 

In Ecuador the new regime inaugurated 
some years ago is firmer than ever after 
crushing out armed revolutions organized 
by priestcraft at the rate of one a year ever 
since it came into power, introducing new 
reforms every year despite the revolutions, 
and setting forward prosperity in the coun- 
try, notwithstanding the waste of blood and 
treasure by civil wars." The government 
of Ecuador has called upon the Methodist 
missionaries to furnish teachers for the new 
national schools, as they wish to improve 
the educational system. Catholicism is 
still, however, the official religion of Ecua- 
dor which wishes simply to emancipate 
itself from the rule of priests, who have 
bitterly opposed these progressive move- 

One of the oldest missions is that to 
China begun by Judson Uwight Collins and 
Moses C. White, who arrived September 4, 
1^47. Its development, considering the al- 
most superhuman obstacles of the language 

240 The Methodists 

and the conservatism of the country, seems 
miraculous. There are now two regular 
Conferences — theFoochow (organized 1877) 
and the North China (1893), one mission 
Conference — the Hinghua (1896) and two 
missions — the Central China (1869) and the 
West China (1881). The great Boxer per- 
secution and insurrection of 1900, occa- 
sioned largely by the territorial aggression 
of European nations, and which turned in 
blind rage against the Christians, destroyed 
all Methodist churches and other property 
in North China, except Tienstin, massacred 
many native Christians, and broke up the 
work entirely in the Chihli and Shantung 
provinces, though all foreign missionaries 
mercifully escaped. The fine University in 
Peking is in ashes. The fidelity of the na- 
tive Christians in China is one of the bright- 
est pages of history. They even exceeded 
the heroism and devotion of the early 
Christians. There are no lapsed, no libel- 
latics, in China to test the disciplinary 

"The World is My Parish" 241 

wisdom of the Church. Missionary F D. 
Gamewell had charge of the defenses of 
Peking, and he managed the matter so mas- 
terly as to win hearty recognition and thanks 
from foreign ambassadors. But the work 
is going on as before; old missionaries 
have gone back and new ones have been 
sent out. \ arious Methodist denominations 
have missions in China , in the coming 
break-up of the empire presaged by the de- 
termination of Russia to permanently oc- 
cupy Manchuria, announced in April, 1901, 
these churches will do an invaluable work 
for civilization. 

The old order changeth, giving place tu the new, 
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world. 

The history of Methodist missions in 
India is also one of the romances and mira- 
cles of modern times. James Lynch was 
one of the men who buried Coke s body in 
the Indian Ocean, and who carried on his 
work in India. After thirty years' labor 

242 The Methodists 

there he returned to his native Ireland and 
took work in the Comber circuit. Needing 
an assistant, William Butler became his as- 
sociate. "Fifteen years after this, Lynch 
still living, Butler was on his way to India 
as the representative of the Methodism of 
the United States thus linking the two lands, 
the two Methodisms, and the two missions 
of the British and American Methodist 
Churches." In 1856 William Butler began 
work in Rohilcund and Oudh, in the North- 
west Province. His experience in the Sepoy 
Rebellion of 1857, as told in his interesting 
book, " The Land of the Vedas," New York 
(1875), and quoted in part in Reid's "History 
of Missions of the Methodist Episcopacy 
Church," II, 36iff. (Gracey's edition), is one 
of the most thrilling stories ever told. This 
mutiny interrupted work only for a time. 
Reinforcements were sent, and among the 
most potent agents for the regeneration of 
India have been the remarkably successful 
labors of American missionaries. This mis- 

" The World is My Parish ' 243 

sion was organized into the North India 
Conference in 1864, and to-day it has more 
members than some of the great Confer- 
ences in the home-land. The Northwest 
India Mission became a Conference in 1893. 
There is also the South India Conference, 
the Bombay Conference (1892), the Bengal- 
Borneo Conference (1893), and the Malaysia 
Mission Conference (work began 188=,. Con- 
ference 1893). In 1900 the Philippine Is- 
lands were made a district of that Confer- 
ence, and a prosperous work has been be- 
gun there. Wonderful outpourings of the 
spirit have been witnessed in North India 
since lSgs, the natives pressing for baptism 
in numbers too large for effective instruc- 
tion and oversight. It is only paralleled by 
the pentecostal ingatherings oi the Baptists 
among the Telugus after their years of 
faithful waiting and sowing. James M. 
Thoburn was made missionary bishop of 
Indi.i and Malaysia in lNSN. and his apos- 
tolic spirit and labors keep tresh the loved 

244 The Methodists 

memory of William Taylor. Both have 
consecrated that teeming land to the high- 
est type of Christianity. 

A volume could well be given to the his- 
tory of missions in European lands, from 
the little Methodist society in St. Peters- 
burg to the magnificent publishing house, 
college and church under the very shadow 
of the Vatican. Japan has a most interesting 
and promising work, begun in 1872, and in 
Mexico in 1873. William Butler — not con- 
tent with founding American Methodism in 
India — introduced it into Mexico. Korea, 
too, has some brilliant young men laying 
the foundations of Christian civilization. 
Bulgaria has proved stony ground. In fact 
the history of Methodist missions has 
abundantly proved the wisdom of Wesley's 
advice — as sage as it was Christian, but 
often disregarded by his followers: Go 
not so much to those who need you, but to 
those who need you most. 

The home mission work in the United 

"The World is My Parish" 245 

States and its dependencies, among the 
Italians, Scandinavians, Hungarians, Span- 
ish, and other foreigners, is a most inter- 
esting one; but not more so than the 
romantic history of William Nast, the 
fellow-student and friend of the infidel 
Strauss, and his founding Methodism 
among the Germans in America in 1835, 
and the wonderful development that has 
followed until there are to-day ten German 
Conferences in the United States. In spite 
of the persecutions of the Methodists in 
Protestant Germany, the people of Luther 
are not unappreciative of the best things in 
Methodism, as witness the remark of Christ- 
lieb, "the best method against Methodism 
is to do the same as it is doing," and the 
keenly appreciative article in the twelfth 
volume of the third edition of the Hauck- 
Herzog " Realencyclopaedie far protestant- 
ische Theologie und. Kirche" (1903; on 
which I have based an article in The 
Methodist Quarterly Rn-ir*.', Nashville. 

246 The Methodists 

October, 1903. In speaking of this article 
by Loofs in the " Realencyclopaedia " to the 
editor, Professor Hauck, of Leipzig, I asked 
him if its favorable tone had called out any 
dissent in Germany. He said : " Not that I 
have noticed. In fact we in Germany are 
much nearer to Methodism in feeling and 
sentiment than to the Anglican Church. 
The High Church movement is in part, of 
course, the cause of this." 


According to the latest statistics as given 
in the admirable Methodist Year Booh, 
(New York, 1903), edited by Mr. Stephen 
V R. Ford, the Wesleyan Methodist Church 
has in Great Britain and Ireland 2,491 min- 
isters, 20,850 lay preachers, and 5^,360 
members (including probationers) and in 
foreign lands she has of each, 727; 7,942; 
205,646. The figures of the Methodist New 
Connection are 207; 1,171; 42,929; the In- 
dependent Methodist Churches, 197; fig- 
ures for lay preachers omitted, 8,644; 
Wesleyan Reform Union, iS; 47Q; 7,^49; 
Bible Christians, 212; 1,4*1; 28, S77; Prim- 
itive Methodists, 1,04*; 16,016; 19s, 6si; 
United Methodist Free Churches, 444 ; i, 102 ; 
9;, 684; Australasia Methodist Church, 912; 
S.4S2; ni.774. 


248 The Methodists 

For Canada the figures stand thus: for 
the four Conferences in Ontario and the one 
in Quebec, 1,351 ministers and lay preach- 
ers and 218,848 members; for the maritime 
provinces, 321 and 41,710; Manitoba, North- 
west and British Columbia, 326 and 28,- 
508. In Japan the Canadian Church has }2 
and 2,675. 

In the United States Dr. H. K. Carroll 
gives the latest figures in The Christian 
Advocate, January 8, 1903. Methodist 
Episcopal, 16,805 ministers, 2,801,798 com- 
municants; African Methodist Episcopal, 
6,429 and 728,354; African Methodist Epis- 
copal Zion, 3,310 and 542,422; Methodist 
Protestant, 1,647 and 184,097; Wesley an 
Methodist, 700 and 17,000; Methodist 
Episcopal, South, 6,247 anci 1,518,854; 
Congregational Methodist, 400 and 22,000; 
Colored Methodist Episcopal, 2,061 and 
204,972; Free Methodist, 1,001 and 28,038; 
Union American Methodist Episcopal, 180 
and 16,500; smaller bodies, 440 and 20,720. 

Statistics 249 

The statistical results of foreign missions 
for the Methodist Episcopal Church are 
as follows: Africa, 678 probationers and 
2,928 full members; China, 10,654 and 9,299; 
India, si, 290 and 34,108; Malaysia, 1,725 
and 1,768; Japan, 2,194 and 4,367; Korea, 
4,559 and 1,296; Germany, 4,990 and 15,- 
062; Switzerland, 1,058 and 7,653; Norway 
and Sweden, 1,947 and 21,024, Denmark, 
217 and 3,248; Finland and St. Petersburg, 
253 and 759; Italy, 534 and 1,923; Bulgaria, 
76 and 238; Mexico, 2,si6 and 2,819; South 
America, 2,037 ar, d 3. 107. 


For the rise and progress of Methodism in 
England until 1833 the great book is Stev- 
ens' History of the Religious Movement in 
the i8ih Century, called Methodism, N. Y. 
and London, 3 vols., 1858-61, perhaps the 
best denominational history ever written. 

George Smiths History of Wesleyan 
Methodism, Lond., 3 vols., 1857-62, is a 
thorough and valuable book, devotes the 
first volume to Wesley, but is partisan in its 
account of the Warren and other separations. 

The late Bishop Hurst published the work 
of many hands in his elaborate and richly il- 
lustrated History of Methodism, Lond., 4 
vols., 1903 (British Methodism), the later 
volumes not being yet published. 

There are shorter and popular histories 
by Bennett, Cincinnati, 1878; Daniels, N. 

Literature 251 

Y., 1882, McTyeire, Nashville, 1884; and 
Hyde, N. Y., 1887. 

As to Wesley himself the standard biogra- 
phy is Tyerman, Lond., and N. Y., 3 vols., 
1S70-1, — a work of immense research. 
Southey s fine biography has been superseded 
by recent investigations, which have reversed 
some of its estimates, but in the edition 
with Coleridge's notes and Alexander Knox's 
remarks and additional notes by D. Curry, 
N. Y., 2 vols., 18=12, it is stiilof value. The 
lives by Julia Wedgwood, Lond., 1870; Tel- 
ford, new ed., 189c); Rigg, new ed., 1890; 
Lelievre, new ed.. 1900; "by a Methodist 
Preacher." 190?; and Pike, iqo} (Unwin), are 
all excellent, each one of some special value. 

The earliest History of the Methodists in 
America is that by Lee, Short H/storv of the 
Methodists, Baltimore. 1S10, who preserved 
manv invalu.ible details. 

Lednum, Rise of Methodism in America, 
Philadelphia, in^q, is indispensable. Of him, 
Stevens gives this testimony : "Lednum is 

252 The Methodists 

remarkable for his accuracy; when I have 
not been able to confirm him I have not 
been able to refute him " (ii, 91, note). 

Then come the two standard works — 
History of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
(to 1840) by Bangs, N. Y., 4 vols., 1839-41, 
and (to 1816) by Stevens, N. Y., 4 vols., 
1864-67, — the former a solid and conscien- 
tious work, in a sense an official history, 
the latter a work of remarkable literary at- 
tractiveness and religious insight, founded 
on extensive research. 

Many facts have been unearthed in the 
three valuable books, Wakeley, Lost Chap- 
ters Recovered from the Early History of 
American Methodism, N. Y., 1858, new 
ed., 1889; Phoebus, Light on Early Method- 
ism in America, N. Y., 1887 (founded on 
the diary, letters, and other MSS. of Ezekiel 
Cooper) ; and Seaman, Annals of New York 
Methodism, N. Y., 1892. 

The latest, most comprehensive and thor- 
ough book on the early history is Atkinson, 

Literature 253 

The Beginnings of the WesUyan Movement 
in America, N. Y., i8q(->, which goes down 
to the departure of Boardman and Filmoor 
for England. 

By far the best one volume History of the 
Methodists in the United States, covering the 
whole ground is Buckleys, N. Y., 1896, 
in the American Church History Series. In 
fact it is about the only book which gives 
the history from the beginning to the pres- 
ent, in a way at once thorough, impartial, 
and interesting. 

The Minutes of the Conferences (1773 to 
the present) first published in complete and 
continuous form from MS. or printed 
sources (Methodist Book Concern, i84off.), 
are an invaluable source. Stevens has 
shown that the early numbers are not al- 
ways accurate as to dates and names. 

Journals of the General Conference from 
1792 to the present also exist either in ab- 
stract or in full. 

The two books by John J. Tigert, A Con- 

254 The Methodists 

stitutional History of American Episcopal 
Methodism, Nashville, 1894, and The Mak- 
ing of Methodism, ib., 1898, are fresh and 
careful studies by an authoritative ex- 
pounder. The same author's reprint, with 
a valuable introduction, of the doctrinal 
tracts in the old Disciplines, The Doctrines 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 
America as contained in the Disciplines, 
iy88 to 1808, and so designated in their title 
pages, Cincinnati and New York, 2 vols., 
1902, is invaluable. 

For the history of the Methodist Prot- 
estant and other reform movements see 
Bassett, History of the Methodist Prot- 
estant Church, Pittsburg, 1878, new ed., 
rev. and enl., 1887; and especially the 
exhaustive History of Methodist Reform, 
with special reference to the Methodist 
Protestant Church, Baltimore, 2 vols., 
1899, by Dr. E. J. Drinkhouse. It is 
written after a careful study of all the 
original documents, and is the only com- 

Literature 255 

plete and thorough presentation of the Re- 
former's case ever presented. Though 
written therefore; with a bias, it is a great 
and enduring achievement in American 
Church historiography. 

There is no history of the Wesleyan 
Methodist Connection of America (1843). 
The best brief account is Wardner and 
Bruce s article in McClintock and Strong, 
Cyclopaedia, suppl. vol., ii, 1075-6. 

For the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South, see Redford, Organisation of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Nash- 
ville, 1871; Myers, The Disruption of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, ib., 187s; and 
Gross Alexander, History of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South, in American 
Church History Series, vol., N. Y., 1894. 
The elaborate work of Elliott, The Great 
Secession, Cincinnati, 185s, gives seventy- 
eight documents in the appendix. 

For the Slavery struggle see the books 
just mentioned, also Elliott, Sinfulness of 

256 The Methodists 

American Slavery, Cincinnati, 2 vols., 1863; 
Matlock, Anti-Slavery Struggle and Tri- 
umph in the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
New York, 1881. 

For territorial growth, besides the minutes 
of the Annual Conferences, Journals of the 
General Conference, Reports of the Mis- 
sionary Society, biographies of noted 
workers in home and foreign lands, Wil- 
liam Taylor's books, Histories of Missions 
such as Reid's rev. new ed. 3 vols., 1895-6, 
Histories of Conferences, see Histories of 
Methodism in Minnesota by Hobart, Red- 
wing, 1887; in Ohio by Barker, New York, 
1898; in Wisconsin by Bennett and Lawson, 
Cincinnati, 1890; in the southwest by 
Elliott, Cincinnati, 1868; in Indiana by W- 
C. Smith {Indiana Miscellany), Cincinnati, 
1867, and by J. C. Smith {Reminiscences of 
Early Methodism in Indiana), Indianapolis, 
1879; in Kentucky by Redford, Nashville, 
3 vols., 1868-70; in Illinois (Rock River 
Conference) by Field, Cincinnati, 1896; in 

Literature 257 

Northwestern Pennsylvania and Southern 
Central New York (Wyoming Conference) 
by A. F Chaffee. New York, 1904. 

For the African Churches see Tanner 
The Apology for African Methodism, Balti- 
more, 1S07; Moore, History of the African 
Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, York, 
Pa., 1884; etc. 

On special topics the books are legion, as 
e.g., Cummings, Early Schools of Method- 
ism, New York, 1886; Wheeler, Methodism 
and the Temperance Reform, Cincinnati 
and New York, 1SS2; etc. 

For Canada see Thos. Webster, History 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Can- 
ada, Hamilton, iSsS, new ed., 1870; Play- 
ter. History of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church in Canada, Vol. I. Toronto. iNh;>; 
Carroll. Case and his Contemporaries, ib., 
1867- T Watson Smith. History of Method- 
ism in Eastern British .'imerini, 2 vols., 
Halifax, 1S77, iSik>; Cornish, Cyclopedia of 
Methodism in Canada, 2 vols., Toronto, 

258 The Methodists 

1881, 1904; Ryerson, Story of My Life, ib., 
1884; various authors, Centennial of Cana- 
dian Methodism, ib., 1891. There are lives 
of William Black by Richey, Halifax, 1839, 
and by his descendant Wm. A. Black, of 
Sheldon, Iowa, 1903. 


Abbott, Benjamin, 135. 

African Methodist Episcopal Church, 175. 

African Methodist Kj i^copal Zion Church, 176. 

African Union Methodist Protestant Church, 175— 6. 

Alli-n, Richard, .1 founder, 175. 

Allegheny College, 219. 

American University, 222. 

Asbury, Francis, in hiding, 62; appointed as superin- 
tendent, 68, 76; confirmed as superintendent by 
Wesley, 78 ; salary, 79 ; requests Wesley to pro- 
vide church government, 82 ; Little's description of, 

Asbury College, Baltimore, 214. 

Augusta College (1822), 215-6. 

Australia, 226. 

Baltimore, conference of, 1776, 63; of 1780, 71 ; 

1-ovely Lane Chapel, 64. 
l'.cnnuda, history of Methodism in, 187. 
Bew ley, the martyr, 15^. 
Bethel Academy, Ky. (1 794), 208. 
Bethel Academy, S C ( 1 795). 213. 
Bibliography, select, 250. 

Bishop, Abraham John, apo.stlc of New Brunswick, 185. 
Bidiops, Wesley's idea of, 97. 
Black, William, apo&tlc of Nova Scotia, 180. 
Boardman, Richard, 50, 115. 
B ok Concern, beginning of, 58, 212. 
11' ! in University School of 'I heology, 221. 
B'xer Kel»ellu'n of 1900, 240. 
Butler, Win., his work in India, 242. 


260 Index 

California, early history of Methodism in, 158. 

Campmeeting, Burke description of, 145. 

Cartwright, Peter, his description of Methodists quoted, 

Cazenovia Seminary (1824), 216. 

Chicago, introduction of Methodism in, 151. 

China, missions in, 239. 

Christian Connection, 162. 

Cincinnati, introduction of Methodism in, 149. 

Class-meetings, 35. 

Clark, John, his life, 155. 

Coke, Thomas, consulted by Wesley in regard to organiza- 
tion of societies in America as a church, 82 ; asked 
to accept ordination as superintendent, 83 ; ordained 
superintendent, 84 ; his comments on books, 88 ; 
Ware's description of, 91 ; question as to how far 
he carried out Wesley's American scheme, 98 ; 
Little's comparison of him and Asbury, 121 ; his 
missionary work, 226 ; his death, 125. 

Cokesbury College, 204. 

Cokesbury School, 213. 

Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, 176. 

Communion, close, 102. 

Conference, first American, 54; second, 59; third, 61 
fourth, 63; fifth, 64; sixth, 66; seventh, 67 
eighth, 71; ninth, 74; tenth, 75; eleventh, 77 
twelfth, 78 ; Christmas, 90. 

Congregational Methodist Churches, 172. 

Cox, Melville B., first American Methodist missionary to 
heathen land, 233. 

Cox, Philip, power of his preaching, 138. 

Dempster, John, as missionary pioneer, 235 ; as edu- 
cational pioneer, 237. 
Detroit, early history of Methodism in, 153. 
Dickens, John, 212. 
Dickinson College, 219. 
Dress, plainness in, 79. 
Drew Theological Seminary, 221. 

Index 261 

Ebehezer Academy, first Methodist school in America, 

Embury. Philip, 39, 104. 

England, church of, condition of in Eighteenth Cen- 
tury, 7 ; her casting out of Methodism, 14; condi- 
tion of in Virginia, 57 ; decision of conference of 
1779 in regard to connection with, 68; second con- 
ference of 1779 on the same, 70 ; conference of 1780 
on, 72; 1781, 74; English Bishops refuse ordina- 
tion, 87 ; Wesley's relation to, 96. 

Evangelical Association, 177. 

Evangelist Missionary Church, 177. 

Fasts appointed, 75. 

Fiji Islands, mission work in, 229 ; burning of Bibles by 

Catholics in 1903, 229. 
Finley, James B., typical pastoral experience of, 143. 
Free Methodist Church, 173. 

Garrett Biblical Institute, 156, 221. 

Garrettson, sent to summon Christmas conference, 90 ; 

his labors, 131. 
Gatch, Philip, his labors and persecutions, 126. 
Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, 217-8. 
Germany, Methodism in, 245. 
Gill, William, 36. 

Heck, Barbara, a founderess, 39, 191. 

Illinois, early Methodist history of, 15a 
Independent Methodist Church, 172. 
India, missions in, 241. 
Indiana, early history of Methodism in, 150. 
Indians, American, missions to, 230. 
Ivey, Richard, 136. 

{ARRATT, friendly Episcopal minister, 75. 
ohn Street Church, New York, 41. 

262 Index 

Kansas, beginnings in, 157. 

Kents' Hill, Maine, Seminary (1821), 217. 

Kidder, Daniel P., work in South America, 235 ; later 

life, 237. 
King, John, labors, 112; Wesley's letter to, quoted, 113. 
Kingswood School, 200. 

Laymen, rights of, 163. 

Lay preaching, 16, 35. 

Lee, Jesse, his labors, 132. 

Liberia, mission to, 223. 

Liturgy, provided by Wesley, 87 ; dropped, 100. 

Losee, apostle of Ontario, 190. 

McCarty, James, martyr, 196. 

MacColl, Duncan, apostle of Western New Brunswick, 

McKendree, bishop, his preaching, 147. 

Madison College, Uniontown, Pa., 210. 

Methodism, Wesley's description of rise of, 13; relation 
of to Church of England, 15 ; consolidation under 
Wesley, 18 ; as a life rather than a dogma, 22 ; 
Wesley's definition of a Methodist quoted (in part), 
23 ; doctrines of, 27 ; ethical teachings of, 32 ; doc- 
trinal standards, 75, 78, 103 ; organization of in 
America, 94 ; Cartwright's description of customs 
of, etc., 148. 

Methodist Episcopal Church, South, events leading up to 
organization of, 167 ; organized, 170. 

Methodist Protestant Church, 164. 

Minnesota, history of Methodism in, 156. 

Montreal, 192. 

Music, knowledge of, necessary to ministers, 79. 

Negro churches, 175. 
New Brunswick, 184. 
Newfoundland, 179. 
Nova Scotia, 180. 

Index 263 

Ohio pioneers, 142. 

O'Kelly, James, his famous resolution of 179a and its 

results, 161. 
Ontario, 190. 
Oregon, beginnings, 158. 

Palatinates, The, the first Methodists in America, 37. 
Persecutions, 130; an account of slavery, 153. 
Pilmoor, James, 50, 1 14. 
Poythress, Francis, 136, 209. 
Primitive Methodist Church, 172. 
Prince Edward Island, 186. 

Probation of preachers (a years), 75; of members (3 
months), 75. 

Quebec, 190. 

Rankin, Thomas, superintendent in America, 55, 59, 

Reed, Nelson, his brave answer to Coke, 138. 
Ryan, Henry, and his church, 194. 

Sacraments, resolutions concerning the administration 
of, 70, 73-4 ; weekly communion advised, 87. 

St. Louis, early history of Methodism in, 152. 

Slavery, denounced by conference of 1780,72; stricter 
rules against in 1784, 79 ; repeated at Christmas 
Conference, 100; later history, 165, 167, 173. 

South America, missions in, 235. 

Statistics, 247. 

Stephenson, John, the Bermuda Confessor, 187. 

Stewart, John, founder of missions, 230. 

Strawbridge, Robert, a founder, 45, 107. 

Superannuated preachers, fund for, 101-2. 

Taylor, William, his work in California, 159; in 

Africa, 234-$ ; in South'America, 237. 
Temperance, distilled liquors disapproved, 72. 
Theological Institution, The, (England), 202. 
TunnelT, John, 136. 



Union School, Uniontown, Pa., (1792), 209. 
United Brethren in Christ, 177. 

Ware, Thomas, 136. 

Warren, George, first Methodist missionary to heathen, 

Washington, (Ga.) School, (1795), 211. 

Webb, Captain, 41, 42, 105. 

Wesley, John, ancestry, 9 ; father and mother, 9, 10 ; at 
Oxford, 10; Georgia, 11 ; conversion, 12; ordina- 
tions by, 20 ; his opinion of Irish Palatinates, 38 ; 
Taylor's New York letter to, 48 ; sends first mis- 
sionaries to America, 50 ; certification of his ordi- 
nation of Coke, 84 ; famous letter to the Brethren 
in America, 85. See Methodism, King, etc. 

Wesleyan Methodist Connection in America, 166. 

Wesleyan University, Middletown, 218. 

Wilbraham Academy, 215. 

Williams, Robert, his labors, 46, 1 1 1 ; forbidden to pub- 
lish, 56. 

Willis, Henry, 137. 

Wisconsin, history of Methodism in, 154. 

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